High school seniors' tests scores decline in math, reading

By Allen Cone

WASHINGTON, April 27 (UPI) -- America's high school seniors aren't quite making the grade in math and in reading.

The latest results, called the Nation's Report Card and administered by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, revealed a drop from 2013-15 in reading from 153 to 152 out of 300 points and in math from 288 to 287 out of 500 points. NAEP considers the reading change not statistically different.


In 2015, NAEP tested about 19,000 students in reading and 13,000 in math. Only 37 percent of students were deemed to be ready for college, according to NAEP.

"This trend of stagnating scores is worrisome," said Terry Mazany, the chairman of the governing board for the test. "A strong foundation in math and reading is essential to a student being prepared for college academics and for most careers."

The biggest decline in reading and in math were in the lowest percentile. Scores for students in the top percentile improved.

"We're stalled. That's the bottom line," said Mark Schneider, a vice president at the American Institutes for Research, who used to run the government agency that administers NAEP. "We're not making any progress."


The results for fourth and eighth grades, which were released last fall, had a similar decline in math.

Schools nationwide now follow the Common Core State Standards.

Late last year, President Barack Obama replaced No Child Left Behind Act with the Every Student Succeeds Act. The old act required standardized testing and had federal penalties based on test results. The new law shifts accountability to states.

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