The Nation’s 2019 Report Card (NAEP) Reveals Continuing Lack of Improvement in K12 Math and Reading Skills

The nationwide assessment of how much America’s 4th and 8th grade students generally learned from their K12 math and reading education, revealed a continuing lack of improvement.

Administered every two (2) years as mandated by Congress in 1988, the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), a.k.a. “The Nation’s Report Card” aims to determine the effectiveness of the teaching methods for math, reading, science and writing, as applied in the country’s K12 educational system.



Apparently, the 2019 NAEP results were a disappointment as far as reading and math education are concerned. When compared to the 2017 NAEP outcomes, this year’s results showed that 4th and 8th graders are still finding it difficult to cope with math and reading lessons.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that the average reading score of 4th graders on a nationwide level, dropped from a previous score of 222 in 2017 to 220 for 2019. The drop was more significant among 8th graders since the average score dropped by four (4) points; from 267 in 2017 down to 263 in 2019.

Math scores showed mixed results since this years 4th grade examinees scored better, yielding one (1) point increase from the 2017 NAEP math examination. The improvement though was not sustained by the eight (8) grade examinees, since the average of their math scores represented a one point from the related 2017 results. Still, the overall assessment for progress in overall math achievement remains flat when compared to NAEP results during the past decade.

The NCES Assessment of the 2019 NAEP Examination



Peggy Carr, the Associate Commissioner of the NCES said during a press conference that the 2019 National Education Report Card does not indicate progress in math and reading skills when assessed in comparison with the results of the past decade. She also noted that the lowest performing students are in fact doing worse, rather than better.

Except from the scores achieved by the highest performing 4th grade students, rhe decline was seen at all levels of achievement among 4th and 8th graders. Long term assessments for lowest performing students ever since the NAEP was administered in 1992, revealed lack of progress over a 30-year period.



According to the Asst. Commissioner, “A 3-point drop is a very meaningful decline because as many as 31 states, whether large or small, were involved. The score drops that drove down the 4th grade national average for reading, occurred in 17 states, while the drop in 8th grade average reading scores occurred in all 31 participating states.

When assessed in comparison with what the NCES regards as the “aspirational goal,” Ms Carr said that the 2019 NAEP did not show changes in the percentage of students meeting the aspired proficiency level for math. On the other hand, reading scores showed that there was a decline in the percentage of students who reached the “aspirational goal” for reading.