The fifth event is 8th grade math, which is something like alpine skiing.  The assortment of skiing events includes bouncing through moguls, maneuvering around flags, flying off jumps, and rocketing very quickly down a mountain, all while maintaining balance.  In 8th grade, math students bounce through algebra and geometry, maneuver in statistics and probability, fly through functions–rocketing through these many varied challenging math concepts as they prepare for high school.  

Top standardized test scores for 8th grade math among nations across the world.


Referring again to the TIMSS for 8th grade math scores, we see on the left that the USA ranks 9th in the world.  The center list shows that several states took this same test independently, and four of their scores comprise the latter half of the top ten with Massachusetts finishing highest among them, at number six.  Referring back to the NAEP scores for 8th grade math, the results again indicate that there was no significant difference between Massachusetts score and Montana’s.  Here again, therefore, we see on the right the results as if Montana were the only state to represent the USA in this competition, and again, it is reasonable to conclude that in such a circumstance, Montana might have finished 6th in the world.  That is a good effort, but not enough to win a medal.

On the podium for 8th grade math we have South Korea winning the gold medal, Singapore takes the silver, and the bronze goes to Chinese-Taipei.  


Bar graph showing extrapolated test results


How might Swan River School do in this event?  MontCAS data from that year shows the our Warriors really delivered an epic performance, finishing an astounding 14% higher than Montana.  The extrapolation for those results would seem to vault us even beyond South Korea into a first place finish.

Thus far, no medals for Montana-USA in the 8th grade portion of the events.  Will that change in the final event, 8th grade science?