While students in most states showed improvement on a national test, Missouri students lost ground.
The 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress was announced Tuesday.
Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro says the report confirms what she calls an "urgent need to raise the bar academically and to focus on results."
On a scale of zero to 500, the average math score for Missouri eighth-graders was 282. That's down four points from 2009. And the average math score for fourth-graders was 240, down one point from 2009.
In reading, eighth-graders held steady with a score of 267, while fourth-graders dropped four points to 220.
The Missouri scores were similar to the national averages, but Nicastro says that "average is not good enough."