Middle school achievement is not as much of a trouble spot as some have warned, according to a report that analyzes trends in 8th grade state test scores.
The study by the Center on Education Policy, which was scheduled for release April 5, found that between 2002 and 2009, more states showed gains by 8th graders on state tests in reading and math than they did by 4th graders or high school students. For instance, 40 states showed gains in 8th grade reading at the “proficient” level, compared with 36 in 4th grade and 32 in high school.
Eighth graders’ progress was notable at the “advanced” level on state tests. Of 42 states with sufficient data for that analysis, all showed gains in the percentage of students scoring at that level in math; 35 did so in reading.
The study focuses primarily on results from 43 states with three or more years of comparable data.
A version of this article appeared in the April 06, 2011 edition of Education Week as Middle School Achievement