Juneau Reports Montana Math Scores are on the Rise, Continue to Best National Average by 10 Points

Wednesday, October 14, 2009
by Jessica Rhoades

HELENA, Mont. - The math skills of Montana students continue to exceed the national average and have slowly, but surely, improved over the past 10 years, new findings show. Math scores increased sharply among some of the state's fourth and eighth-grade students in the last two years. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, also called "The Nation's Report Card," out today, details the continued achievement of Montana fourth and eighth graders on the tests, administered by the U.S. Department of Education earlier this year.

"It's great to see the gains so many of our students are making in math," said Superintendent Denise Juneau. "The hard work and innovation happening in Montana's classrooms is paying off as we can see with these top-notch results. I am proud of all of our students and teachers."

Montana eighth graders scored better than students in all but two other states (MN and MA) and Montana fourth graders scored better than students in all but four other states (MN, VT, NH, and MA).

4th Grade
Math scores have increased in grade four at a greater rate than in grade eight, which is also true of the nation. Juneau lauded the progress of Montana's fourth-grade American Indian students, whose scores made a sizeable jump of five points over the last two years, bringing their scores up 11 points over 2003 levels.

8th Grade
After a decade of one-point gains in the statewide average for grade eight, this year's average math score for all eighth-grade students rose by a full five points. Up to this time, national eighth-grade scores were rising while Montana's remained about the same. With the five-point rise, Montana is 10 points above the national score.

"While our overall results exceed national averages, our bottom line must be to raise the level of achievement for all Montana students while closing the achievement gap," said Juneau.

A random sampling of schools and students are selected for testing from Montana and across the U.S. including nearly 21,000 Montana students from more than 450 Montana schools.

The Nation's Report Card: Mathematics 2009 and additional data collected from the 2009 mathematics assessment are available online at http://nationsreportcard.gov

One-page summaries of Montana's reports are available online.

Grade 4: http://opi.mt.gov/PDF/Supt/2009_Grade-4_Math_Scores.pdf
Grade 8: http://opi.mt.gov/PDF/Supt/2009_Grade-8_Math_Scores.pdf

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