Math Scores are Rising, while Reading is Stagnant

March 26, 2010 at 6:58 am 1 comment

I found these results surprising.  I’m sure that computing teachers who read this list will be shocked to hear that their students mathematics skills are rising.  What I’m more surprised at is the stagnation of reading skills.  While newspaper sales are down, book sales are up, reading on the Internet is what’s killing newspapers, and even texting may have a positive impact on language skills.  Given all of that, I would have predicted the reverse — people are generally doing much more with words than with numbers today.

“The nation has done a really good job improving math skills,” said Mark Schneider, a vice president at the American Institutes for Research and a former official at the Education Department, which oversees the test, known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress. “In contrast, we have made only marginal improvements in reading.”

Why math scores have improved so much faster than reading scores is much debated; the federal officials who produce the test say it is intended to identify changes in student achievement over time, not to identify causes.

via Reading Scores Lag Behind Math – NYTimes.com.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Alan Kay  |  March 26, 2010 at 8:59 am

    If you take a look at where the scores are and what they mean, then they are both woefully below any reasonable thresholds for fluency and content.

    Americans love “improvements” but fail to deal with whether the improvements signify stronger abilities, or just “failing in a new way”.

    This is political dynamite, but scientists should be checking this (and also pointing this out over and over to the public).

    Cheers,

    Alan

    Reply

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