In FL, girls did worse than boys in 4th grade math during COVID pandemic

By: - October 26, 2022 5:27 pm

Classroom. Getty Images.

Girls performed worse than boys in 4th grade math during the course of the COVID pandemic in Florida, according to new national data.

And the difference, often described as the “achievement gap” between various demographics, widened since 2019 compared to scores in 2022.

In 2019, 4th grade male students in Florida had an average scale score of 248 and the female students scored 244.

But in 2022, the gap widened. Male 4th graders scored 244 in math and female students scored 238, resulting in a six-point difference.

The data comes from 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress, also referred to as NAEP scores or the Nation’s Report Card, which assesses subjects such as math and reading across the country using a sampling in specific grades.

The scores indicate proficiency in the subject matter, based on a 0-500 scale, and it varies by grade. For 4th graders taking the math assessment, students earning a 249 are considered “proficient.”

The NAEP scores or the report did not provide specifics on why this gender gap occurs in 4th grade math.

The good news is that Florida students on average scored higher in math in both 2019 and 2022, compared to the scores of 4th graders nationally. However, the Florida averages are still below the threshold for proficiency in math.

Other states

Idaho had the largest gap between 4th grade male and female achievement, with an 11-point difference in 2022. Boys scored 241 compared to 231 for girls, based on the data.

In Indiana, the average score for male 4th graders was 243 compared to 235 for girls. The data shows a 9-point difference.

Massachusetts, Utah and Nevada had a difference of 8 points between boys and girls.

Minnesota, California, Arizona, New York and Michigan had a difference of 7 points between boys and girls in 4th grade math.

In only one state in the nation, Alaska, female 4th graders performed higher than the boys.

Female students in Alaska earned an average scale score of 228 in 2022, compared to male students at 224.

Overall, the national public average scale score difference in math between male and female students for 4th graders worsened over the pandemic.

In 2019, male students had an average score of 244, and female students scored 238, resulting in a difference of 3 points between each group.

But in 2022, male 4th grade students nationally scored 238 and female students scored 232 on the math assessment, resulting in a difference of 6 points.

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Danielle J. Brown
Danielle J. Brown

Danielle J. Brown is a 2018 graduate of Florida State University. She has served as an editorial intern for International Program’s annual magazine and Rowland Publishing. She was born and raised in Tallahassee and reviews community theater productions for the Tallahassee Democrat.