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11/04/2015
The New York Times reported in a recent article that mathematical abilities, as seen from tests administered to Grade 4 and Grade 8 students, show a decline for the first time since 1990. These tests were administered by National Assessment of Education Progress, sometimes called “the nation’s report card”. Test result on progress in reading were not any better, with scores for fourth graders staying flat while that of eight graders dropped. 

Some officials argued that the drop in scores were due to test questions on topics not covered in the common core and hence not taught in the classroom, like that on data analysis, statistics and geometry. Some others hypothesized demographic changes and persistent achievement gaps between minorities and majority student groups to be responsible for this drop. And then there were some who pointed to test fatigue as a possible cause. 

These test results have fueled conversations in many academic areas, including the Obama administration urging states to cut down on number of high stakes while keeping them purposeful. 

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