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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

American Students Show Mediocre Test Results

By Carole Hornsby Haynes April 13, 2018 Education Views

The United States spends more on K-12 education than almost any other nation in the world and yet our students are performing poorly on tests.

This week the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress test results in mathematics and reading were published. These are tests that have been funded by Congress since the late 1960s and early 1970s and required for all 50 states as part of No Child Left Behind. Called the nation’s “Report Card,” NAEP tests must be given at least every two years to a stratified random sample of students at specific grade levels (4, 8, and upper high school).


Nationally scores for both 4th and 8th graders are stagnant after years of students being immersed in left wing Common Core. The standards were approved by most states in 2010 but not fully implemented until 2011 or 2012. Fourth graders have been taught Common Core content and methodology since they began attending school.

Test results show that 40% of 4th graders are at or above the proficient academic level in math and 37% in reading.

Eighth graders score 34% at or above the proficient level in math and 36% in reading.

NAEP results indicate that low performing students are falling further behind with the gap widening between high and low performing students. This gap is more pronounced for 4th grade math than 4th grade reading and for 4th graders than for 8th graders.


At the international level the US. is not doing well either.

The 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study showed showed that U.S. students fell from fifth in the world to 13th. On the 2015 PISA test given to 15-year-olds in more than 50 countries, American scores were also down in math and reading with students ranking 39th in math, well below advanced countries.


In Texas 4th and 8th graders dropped in both math and reading.

Fourth grade math scores fell from 244 to 241 while reading scores fell from 218 to 215. Eight grade reading scores fell in 2017 from 261 to 260.

Texas declined adoption of Common Core Standards. However, Common Core math processes were added to Texas math curriculum standards in 2011 and the State Board of Education has refused to remove them. Since 1990 8th grade math scores had been on a steady upward trend but then began to decline steadily in 2011.

In comparing the scores for 2011 and 2015, Texas 8th grade scores dropped more than those in any other state! The Texas collapse was the MOST DRAMATIC in the nation!  In 2017, 8th grade math scores fell yet again – from 284 to 282.

Assessment results showed 41 percent of 4th graders are at or above the proficient level in math and 29 percent in reading. The results for 8th graders are 33 percent at or above the proficient level in math and 28 percent in reading.

Dallas Independent School District

Dallas Independent School District is the most indebted district in Texas yet there is little to show for the huge public outlay of taxpayers’ money.

NAEP test scores for 4th grade math fell from 238 to 234 and reading from 204 to 201. Eighth grade scores fell for both math and reading (from 271 to 268 and 250 to 246, respectively).

Only 31 percent of 4th graders are at or above proficient in math and 15 percent in reading. Even worse is the 8th grade score of 20 percent in math and 15 percent in reading.

It’s quite evident that spending more money is not going to improve the academic level of American students. Dramatic changes must be made if we are not to become a third world of illiterate citizens. Lawmakers must have the political will to remove all federal funding and strings from education. State lawmakers must also have the political will to withhold funding from schools using taxpayers’ money to fund centers of leftwing indoctrination, entry level workforce training, and edtech profiteering.

Americans clearly must have the choice to use their education dollars where their children can get an academic education free of ideology. It’s time for competition for the education monopoly.

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