The second event of the 2012 worldwide education Olympiad is 4th grade math.  This is somewhat like speed skating.  Speed skaters cover a lot of ground very quickly across a slippery hard surface, often in a repetitive elliptical pattern of laps over short or long distances.  Our 4th graders cover also cover a lot of math very quickly and in a short period of time.  Like hard slippery ice, math can be unforgiving when skills are not mastered, but exerting great effort, our students learn and practice skills that allow them to go long distances in this academic discipline.  


Grade 4 math 2012 worldwide standardized test score data


The 2011 TIMSS assessment shows on the left that the USA finished a rather disappointing 11th in 4th grade math among the nations of the world.  North Carolina also participated independently in the 2011 TIMSS with a score that surpassed the  USA’s score.  As shown in the center list, North Carolina’s score placed 7th in the world on the TIMSS.  Montana did not take the TIMSS, but Montana and North Carolina both took the NAEP test, and both states had basically the same score.  Thus, it is reasonable to conclude in this competition having Montana as USA’s representative, our state would have finished 7th, which is a ways off from medaling.  This is shown on the list on the right.  

Your medalists for 4th grade reading are Singapore wins gold, South Korea earns the silver, and Hong Kong is on the podium again, this time taking bronze.


Bar graph of test data for Grade 4 Math


As before, when we add the MontCAS results to the data, it shows that Swan River scored 4% higher than Montana.  Montana’s score was just 2% higher than the USA’s yet that vaulted Montana ahead three places in the standings.  Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that if Swan River’s score was 4% higher than Montana’s, it would possibly vault our school a few places higher and into medal contention.  It is still quite a ways off of Singapore’s lofty score.  Even so, we can reasonably conclude that our Swan River School students are very solid in 4th grade math.

The next event will be 4th grade science, which will be a competition that bears a strong resemblance to Olympic event of figure skating.