Check out the exciting innovations for back-to-school. Learn more

The Nation’s 2013 NAEP Math Report Card: Disappointing and showing major gaps for minorities

Only 26 percent of U.S. 12th Grade students are proficient in math, according to eagerly awaited release of the 2013 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) Report, released on May 7. It’s the largest nationally representativ​e and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas. Major gaps for minority students remain a concern.

Scores unchanged

According to the new report, the math score is unchanged since the last report in 2009:


Source: National Center for Education Statistics

National scores are provided for students in public and private schools, as well as eleven pilot states. (NAEP has not traditionally reported state-level data for 12th grade.) 


Work still needed to close gaps for minorities

Recent reforms would not have affected this cohort of students, so the effect remains to be seen. What we can see from both math (and other) scores is that we have work to do to prepare students for their futures. Proficiency rankings are particularly troubling for the future success of Black, Hispanic, and Native American students:


Source: National Center for Education Statistics

You can read the available data here: National Center for Education Statistics, The Nation’s Report Card Grade 12: Reading and Mathematics 2012 (Washington, D.C.: National Assessment of Educational Progress, May 2014).

Duncna on the the need to narrow gaps now

In a statement by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on the new 2013 scores, he notes, “And while students in each racial group identified in the NAEP showed improvement in some areas, it is very troubling that achievement gaps between white and black students, and white and Hispanic students, failed to narrow from 2011 to 2013.”

Further in his statement, Duncan states, “If America’s students are to remain competitive in a knowledge-based economy, our public schools must greatly accelerate the rate of progress of the last four years and do more to narrow America’s large achievement gaps. It is an urgent moral and economic imperative that our schools do a better job of preparing students for today’s globally-competitive world.”

How DreamBox closes math achievement gaps

How can we help all students who need additional math support?  Dr. Tim Hudson, Senior Director of Curriculum Design for DreamBox Learning, Inc. and experienced classroom teacher believes that “What every classroom teacher really needs is a tool that is proven to actively and directly foster learning for every single student. If more accessible textbooks and lectures were the key to closing achievement gaps, the education crisis would have been solved long ago. Teachers need software that adapts to each student just as I would—moment by moment—observing what the child is thinking, how she is approaching the problem and analyzing the strategies she uses in order to make a pedagogical decision about where to go next. I want software that doesn’t replace me entirely—I know that’s impossible—but it should meet students where they are when I’m not able to get to them.

DreamBox Learning Math provides teachers and students with technology that makes this highly personalized learning support a reality. The idea isn’t to replace teachers; the technology enhances what teachers are trying to accomplish with each student. Hudson says, “When teachers can’t be there individually for a student at the point of learning, they can trust that DreamBox will be a trustworthy partner for ensuring that student will experience success.”

Read this case study about how mSchools is closing gaps for profoundly struggling student, and a recent white paper by Tom VanderArk about how to boost math learning

Latest posts by @DreamBox_Learn (see all)