In fourth-grade math, average scores increased to a statistically significant degree for Michigan, Florida and the nation as a whole from 1996 to 2011. Florida’s gains, however, outpaced both the nation’s average and Michigan’s. In 1996, the average NAEP score in fourth-grade math for all students in Michigan was 226.3. This improved to 236.4 by 2011, a 4.5 percent increase. Over the same period, Florida’s scores grew from 215.8 to 239.8, surpassing Michigan’s and producing growth of 11.2 percent, more than two times that of the Great Lakes State (see Graphic 9). Scores increased nationally from 222.0 in 1996 to 240.1 in 2011, an 8.1 percent rise.

Graphic 9: Average NAEP Fourth-Grade Math Scores in the United States, Michigan and Florida, All Students, 1996-2011

Graphic 9: Average NAEP Fourth-Grade Math Scores in the United States, Michigan and Florida, All Students, 1996-2011 - click to enlarge

Source: “NAEP Data Explorer: Main NDE,” (National Center for Education Statistics; United States Department of Education), http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/ accessed March 21, 2013).

Average fourth-grade math scores for lower-income students in Michigan grew from 210.0 in 1996 to 223.7 in 2011. This increase represents a statistically significant 6.6 percent gain, the largest improvement seen in this study for Michigan students.

Nevertheless, the Sunshine State’s average fourth-grade math score for lower-income students improved even more — from 203.5 in 1996 to 232.3 in 2011, a statistically significant increase of 14.2 percent. The national average increased less than Florida’s, but more than Michigan’s, climbing from 206.6 to 229.2 — a statistically significant 10.9 percent improvement. Ultimately, in 2011, Florida’s average fourth-grade math score for lower-income students surpassed both Michigan’s and the nation’s (see Graphic 10).

Graphic 10: Average NAEP Fourth-Grade Math Scores in the United States, Michigan and Florida, Students Qualifying for the National School Lunch Program, 1996-2011

Graphic 10: Average NAEP Fourth-Grade Math Scores in the United States, Michigan and Florida, Students Qualifying for the National School Lunch Program, 1996-2011 - click to enlarge

Source: “NAEP Data Explorer: Main NDE,” (National Center for Education Statistics; United States Department of Education), http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/ (accessed March 21, 2013).