Eighth-Grade Math


In 2022, 24% of Maine 8th graders were proficient in mathematics, down from 34% pre-COVID.

Unfavorable movement since the last available data

Benchmark: The percentage of Maine students scoring proficient and above on NAEP will reach 50% by 2030.

Overview Fig. A


From 2019 to 2022, eighth-grade math performance on National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests fell in all 50 states. In Maine, the share of students meeting the proficiency benchmark fell from 34% to 24%, two percentage points below the U.S. average. This is a change from previous years, when Maine was consistently above the U.S. average. Based on the NAEP sample of 1,800 Maine 8th graders, it appears that proficiency declines were largest among lowincome students, those with disabilities, and those whose parents had lower levels of education.

Eighth-grade math scores reflect foundational skills and indicate whether students are on track for college and career readiness. Math is a cornerstone of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines, which can lead to in-demand job skills and well-paid careers in growing fields. Math addresses knowledge and skills to solve problems, make sense of information, and accurately gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions.

Eighth-grade math proficiency is defined as solid academic performance and competency over challenging subject matter, application to real-world problems, and appropriate analytical skills. NAEP tests representative samples of fourth and eighth graders every other year to allow national and state comparisons.



Fig. A

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Percentage of 8th Graders Scoring Proficient or Above in Math

National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP); New England average is unweighted.