A new round of test results for some of Missouri’s elementary and middle school students show they’re above the national average, but have lost grounds in some math testing. This one is the National Assessment of Educational Progress, part of the federal No Child Left Behind law. The state has its own assessment tests which give more detailed results and involve far more students. By next year, the state’s definitions of “advanced, proficient, basic, and below basic” will be aligned with the federal standards. In short, the NAEP, as it’s called, shows reading scores in fourth and eighth graders tested continued to run above the national average but their math scores are slightly lower than the the national average at both the foruth and eighth grade levels. State Education Commissioner Kent King says it might be hard to learn why the Missouri students tested this year lost ground to students from several other states. He says these results will be compared to the more-detailed state results in an effort to spot trends or weak areas in math teaching and learning. Missouri has about one-million public school students The national exam tests fewer than three thousand, all in the fourth and eighth grades.
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