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Why Are Public School Kids Scoring Much Lower As They Get To Higher Grades?

By: Krystle Crossman

One would think that as students grow and move up in their schooling they would perform better with schoolwork and testing. They are used to the way things are done so by the time they hit high school they should be at their peak performance right? Wrong. Test scores from high schools around the country were released this Wednesday that showed that the students in the higher grades are performing worse than those in the lower ones.

The National Assessment of Education Progress compared test results from 2005 and 2013. They found that students scored an average of 153 out of 500 on the math portion of the test in 2013. In 2005 the average was 150. As for the reading portion, the average in 2013 was 288 which is a decrease from 292 in 2005. The gap between the races remained pretty much unchanged through the years. The white student population will be the minority soon and the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that something needs to be done to be better for all of the students but especially the Latino and African-American students.

The younger students that took the NAEP tests showed improvement over the years. The fourth graders went from an average of 213 in 1990 to 242 in 2013 on their overall scores. The eighth graders went from a 263 in 1990 to a 285 in math. As you can see there is a large discrepancy between the improvement of the younger students as compared to the older students.

There could be a few explanations for the lack of improvement in high school students. One reason could be that the high schools just aren’t teaching them what they need to be. Another is that the older students don’t care about the testing because they know that it will have no effect on their lives at all if they don’t perform well.

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