A basic understanding in math and financial literacy is key in determining future academic readiness and success. The increasing demand for STEM talent means a heavier reliance on math performance. However, American students currently underperform in this area, with only 42 percent of U.S. fourth-graders ranking as Proficient on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). This percentage drops to 35 percent by eighth grade and to 26 percent by twelfth grade.
The demographics of the U.S. are changing. Now nearly 25 percent of children are Hispanic. Overall, math scores for Hispanic students have increased to reveal a steady trend.
From 2003-2013, “in two out of every three states, Hispanic students in both grades four and eight demonstrated statistically significant increases in NAEP math scores, with many of these gains the rough equivalent of two grade levels.” The top-tier states, those with significantly higher scores than the median state’s scores, for 2013 Hispanic student math scores were Indiana, Hawaii, North Carolina, Florida, New Jersey, Texas, and Maryland.
In large-city school districts Hispanic fourth and eighth graders have made math gains equivalent to one grade level in the last ten years.