BIXBY, Okla. — The National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the nation's report card, was released this week. It shows improvement across the board for reading and math in Oklahoma.
For 8th grade math, the state is now in the top five for the country. The Department of Education credits that to new standards put in place back in 2016.
"There were a lot of critical thinking patterns that came in with it that I thought were really good and really important for kids to not just memorize some answers but be able to understand, have a deeper understanding for it," Bixby Middle School teacher Simon MacFarlane said.
MacFarlane said in addition to new standards, he also works to improve relationships, making it easier for students to learn.
"If the student comes into the classroom and doesn't like the teacher or has a rift with that teacher then they're going to have a hard time paying attention. So building a relationship with those students is crucial," he said.
Other Bixby Middle School teachers said although it's encouraging to no longer be in the bottom quarter for math, they wish there was more guidance to make improvements.
"The data that we receive does not give us enough detail to see how we can improve and that's the point of data is to have that," Krista Wright said.
Wright said higher standards are preparing students for what's to come.
"They learn an internal drive of how to be persistent and work toward a goal without giving up on it," she said.
Right now Oklahoma's Department of Education is looking to change the standards for science and fine arts. They'll bring a review to the board and legislature early next year.
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