Math and Reading Score Dropping

The numbers just don’t seem to be adding up. A large percentage of high school seniors are getting weak scores on national math and reading tests, even though they’re taking harder classes and getting higher grades in those classes.

An independent review board spokesman said students may be getting inflated grades.

The federal “No Child Left Behind Law” emphasizes math and reading mostly in elementary and middle-school grades. On the tests from 2005, nearly 40 percent of high school seniors scored below the basic level in math. More than 25 percent fell below the basic level in reading.

In 2005 high school graduates had an overall grade-point average just shy of 3.0, up from 2.7 in 1990. The results are considered the best way to compare students across the country. It is the only uniform national yardstick for judging how well students are learning.