sort ep8_m96    # the lower the score, the lower the percentage of students scoring proficient on the NAEP 8th grade math test
list state ep8_m96
           state   ep8_m96  
  1.     Louisian         7  
  2.  Mississippi         7  
  3.      Alabama        12  
  4.        Arkan        13  
  5. WestVirginia        14  
  6. SouthCarolin        14  
  7.    NewMexico        14  
  8.    Tennessee        15  
  9.       Hawaii        16  
 10.      Kentuck        16  
 11.      Georgia        16  
 12.      Florida        17  
 13.      California        17   
 14.      Arizona        18  
 15.      Delawar        19  
 16.   NorthCarol        20  
 17.  RhodeIsland        20  
 18.        Texas        21   
 19.     Virginia        21  
 20.      Wyoming        22  
 21.      NewYork        22  
 22.      Missour        22  
 23.         Utah        24  
 24.      Indiana        24  
 25.      Marylan        24  
 26.       Colora        25  
 27.   Washington        26  
 28.       Oregon        26  
 29.       Vermon        27  
 30.  Massachuset        28  
 31.       Michig        28  
 32.       Alaska        30  
 33.         Iowa        31  
 34.  Connecticut        31  
 35.      Nebrask        31  
 36.        Maine        31  
 37.      Montana        32  
 38.    Wisconsin        32  
 39.  NorthDakota        33  
 40.    Minnesota        34  
 41.         Ohio         .    # a "." indicates the state did not 
                                        participate in the 1996 NAEP 
                                        (which used to be voluntary)
 42.       Kansas         .  
 43.   SouthDakot         .  
 44.     Illinois         .  
 45.        Idaho         .  
 46.       Nevada         .  
 47.     Oklahoma         .  
 48. Pennsylvania         .  
 49. NewHampshire         .  
 50.    NewJersey         .  


 
Education Week on the Web's 1998 state report card (raw data matrix). These data were extracted from--and then sorted by degree of achievement (percent 8th graders proficient on NAEP math test). Achievement: Olson, L., Shining a Spotlight on Results: Quality Counts '99, Education Week on the Web, 18 (17) (1999).

EWW took its achievement data directly from NAEP results. The NCES provides an excellent summary of achievement results by state between 1990 and the present (nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/mathematics-g8). So informative a summary is this NCES table that it makes obvious that, year after year, state scores have increased--pick any state row and look across the year columns. Do you believe that the schools have become correspondingly better? If so, how to explain that U.S. students continue scoring lower than their international counterparts? Nevertheless, the NAEP was the best test the U.S. had. At the end of 2002 it lost its scientific governance, and so who knows what the most recent numbers mean.