4th Grade Math Scores Add Up

20% more students proficient in math than in 1990
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2007 11:35 AM CDT
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings says most scores are at "historic" highs, adding "To those who would suggest that No Child Left Behind is not working, our nation's fourth- and eighth-graders and...   (Shutterstock.com)
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(Newser) – American elementary school students have improved their math skills considerably, with 20% more fourth graders scoring "proficient" on standardized math tests than in 1990, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Reading skills show more modest gains. The number of students scoring proficient in reading has increased only 4% since 1992.

Eighth graders also showed modest improvements in math and reading. The results are promising, but some critics worry that schools' specialized focus on math and reading to raise test scores could backfire. They fear students may miss out on years of preparation for more complex topics like science and history.