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Lack of Math Proficiency Underscores the Need for School Options

CER Press Release
Washington, DC
October 14, 2009

American students are not being properly prepared to succeed in the global workforce and demonstrate slower progress than ever before in math proficiency, according to an evaluation of test scores under the Nation’s Report Card (NAEP) released today.

“It is a national disgrace that America’s children are flat-lining when it comes to math performance,” said Jeanne Allen, president of The Center for Education Reform (CER). “Year after year, the entrenched bureaucracies that control our nation’s public education system fail to address the math learning crisis in America. It is time for real reform. After all, how can we hope to compete in an increasingly globalized society when a grasp of basic education keystones is literally slipping through our students’ fingers?”

For the first time in the assessment’s history, fourth grade students showed no growth in math proficiency while eighth graders have shown only a slight uptick since 2003. Results also illuminate a continued achievement gap amongst ethnic groups, further showcasing a need for dramatic reform of America’s schools.

“We remain a nation gravely at risk of failure when it comes to educating every child – especially those in need,” says Jeanne Allen. “When nearly 60 percent of our kids are not proficient in math, we must not blink before embracing meaningful reforms like teacher merit pay, stronger charter laws, and higher standards. This is no longer a choice – it is a necessity.”

See also:
NAEP Math Scores 2009: National and State Statistical Highlights
NAEP Math Results Hold Bad News For NCLB, by Mark Schneider, The American Enterprise Institute

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