A federal report says that Alabama's 4th and 8th-graders, in testing last winter, scored significantly lower than the national average in math and reading scores.
Alabama fourth-graders had a state average score of 223 in math, compared to the national average of 234. Eighth graders scored 262, compared to the national average of 276 in math.
In reading, Alabama fourth-graders had a 207 state average score, while the national score was 216. The 8th-graders had 253, compared to a 261 national score.
Education officials say the results showed improvements by fourth-graders in math since 2000 and defended the performance of both grades in the face of education spending cutbacks.
The test results were released yesterday by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the nation's report card. It is given greater significance since it's the first NAEP survey in which all states participated. The scores form baseline numbers for the federal No Child Left Behind law that requires all states improve students' performance.
On the Net: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard.
The 4th-grade Alabama math snapshot: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pdf/stt2003/2004457AL4.pdf
The 8th-grade Alabama math snapshot: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pdf/stt2003/2004457AL8.pdf.