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High school seniors improve in math

High school seniors improve in math

BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho - Idaho high school seniors are improving in math according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Known as the Nation's Report Card, the test is usually only administered to 4th and 8th graders. Idaho is one of 13 pilot states testing high school seniors.

In 2009, 12th graders in Idaho averaged a score of 153. That's up three points to 156 in 2013. That makes Idaho one of only four states to increase scores in high school math.

"It's going to fluctuate over the years, you'll see some improvement and some drop down," said Jared Grimmer, math teacher at Bonneville High School.

Grimmer is not convinced that the increase is statistically significant, but he does acknowledge one change over the past few years.

"We've been trying to align our stuff to the Common Core, so that might have impact, but this is just one district," Grimmer said.

"I do not think that the scores are related to the Common Core because it's not actually been fully implemented yet in any of the schools that I work with," said B.J. Ricks, another math teacher at BHS.

Despite the increase, only 24 percent of Idaho seniors are performing at or above grade level in math. Ricks says seniors are required to take Algebra 1 and Geometry, but most students complete at least Algebra 2.

Looking ahead, the Smarter Balanced Assessment will be a new way to compare results to other states.

Idaho seniors did score above the national average in reading, but did not show significant growth from 2009.

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