Georgia's math and reading scores on the rise - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia's math and reading scores on the rise

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September 25, 2007

Albany -- In Lydia Young's fourth-grade classroom at Live Oak Elementary, students read aloud, participate in discussion, and have their hands raised high.

It is involvement like this that has Georgia's 4th-grade reading scores on the rise.

"We have a strong curriculum that's based on the Georgia standards. It kind of tells us how we should be teaching. Couple that with the passion that you infuse into the students, and they can't do anything but succeed," said Young.

More than 702,000 4th- and 8th-graders across the country took standardized tests to measure progress in the subjects of math and reading.

The scores for the Nation's Report Card: Mathematics 2007 and the Nation's Report Card: Reading 2007, showed national improvement in both subject areas. The announcement was made Tuesday morning at a press conference in Washington D.C.

State-by-state measurements were assessed in the report that compares individual states scores with the rest of the nation. The latest report shows improvements across the board for Georgia's students.

The 2007 reading scores of Georgia's 4th-graders jumped 5 points and nearly pulled even with the national average. Eighth-grade reading scores are also slightly below the national average but saw improvement.

Meeting or beating the national average is a goal teachers like Lydia Young strive for.

"We're getting a good routine week to week, and with that in repetition, just going over the standards in our curriculum, I'm seeing great improvement," she said.

The numbers are also improving across the country. National test score averages went up this year in reading and mathematics.

Mathematics, however, remained Georgia's weakest subject area for both 4th- and 8th-graders. In 2007, Georgia's 8th-graders remained 5 points below the national average. Georgia 4th-graders also lagged behind the national average..

And while testing has become a significant part of today's curriculum, learning is still the main goal teachers everywhere have for their students.

The standardized tests are Congressionally mandated. State education officials say this year's scores are proof that Georgia's new curriculum is working.