National Assessment of Educational Progress | St. Louis Public Radio

National Assessment of Educational Progress

Shannan Muskopf | flickr

States are raising the bar of academic standards for measuring students’ learning, according to a report from federal education researchers — but that bar often varies from state to state.

To complicate things more, states, including Missouri, have changed which tests they use several times in recent years.

The National Center for Education Statistics — the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education — released a report Thursday that compares each state’s academic proficiency. The level at which states are considered proficient has gone up, and the gap between high and low bars is narrowing, researchers said.

Missouri drops in math on national test

Nov 1, 2011
(via Flickr/albertogp123)

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.