America brought home its “report card” Wednesday, and nobody really wants to hang it on the fridge. Math scores dropped for both fourth- and eighth-graders for the first time since the 1990s, when the U.S. began giving the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Reading scores also dipped for eighth-graders, but stayed steady among fourth-graders. The test is given every two years, so the most recent figures for comparison are from 2013.
Education officials and policy-makers are still figuring out how to interpret the results of the test, but many warned everyone not to go into a panic over the numbers, as it’s not clear yet whether this was a blip or points to a larger, more alarming trend — and they probably won’t know until the next assessment, in 2017. Officials did say that the dips might be related to introduction of Common Core, as the assessment might not match up with new curriculum changes, especially in math. Per the Times:>