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.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he wants to work with regional school superintendents on who should pay their salaries.
Superintendents across Illinois are working for free after Quinn in early July eliminated the funds that pay them and their assistants. That's because there's a budget dispute over where the money to pay them should come from.
Quinn said Monday he thinks "we can work that out" but provided no details.
A law signed into law last month in Missouri is making waves nationally, this week. A small part of the wide-ranging SB54, makes it illegal for teachers to be "friends" with students on any social networking site that allows private communication.
That means teachers and students can't be friends on Facebook or can't follow each other on Twitter for example.
Illinois' education chief says the state hasn't provided enough money to institute a new education reform law that's been praised nationwide.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law last month legislation that makes it harder for teachers to strike and easier for districts to fire them, among other things. The bill had support from unions and advocacy groups.