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Table 168. Average National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) science scale score, standard deviation, and percentage of students attaining science achievement levels, by grade level, selected student and school characteristics, and percentile: 2009 and 2011
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Selected characteristic, percentile, and achievement level Grade 4 Grade 8 Grade 12
2009 2009 2011 2009
Total, all students Male Female Total, all students Male Female Total, all students Male Female Total, all students Male Female
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
  Average science scale score1 
All students 150 (0.3) 151 (0.3) 149 (0.3) 150 (0.3) 152 (0.4) 148 (0.3) 152 (0.3) 154 (0.3) 149 (0.3) 150 (0.8) 153 (0.9) 147 (0.9)
                                                 
Race/ethnicity                                                
White 163 (0.2) 164 (0.3) 162 (0.3) 162 (0.2) 164 (0.3) 160 (0.3) 163 (0.2) 166 (0.3) 161 (0.3) 159 (0.7) 162 (0.9) 156 (0.8)
Black 127 (0.4) 126 (0.6) 128 (0.5) 126 (0.4) 125 (0.6) 126 (0.5) 129 (0.5) 130 (0.7) 128 (0.6) 125 (1.2) 127 (1.6) 123 (1.5)
Hispanic 131 (0.5) 132 (0.7) 130 (0.6) 132 (0.6) 134 (0.8) 130 (0.7) 137 (0.5) 140 (0.8) 134 (0.8) 134 (1.3) 138 (2.3) 130 (1.5)
Asian/Pacific Islander 160 (1.2) 159 (1.4) 160 (1.4) 160 (1.0) 162 (1.3) 158 (1.3) 159 (1.3) 161 (1.6) 157 (1.7) 164 (3.0) 161 (2.9) 166 (3.8)
American Indian/Alaska Native 135 (1.3) 135 (1.5) 135 (1.8) 137 (1.4) 141 (1.8) 133 (2.0) 141 (1.4) 143 (2.1) 139 (1.5) 144 (3.7) (†) (†)
                                                 
Highest education level of either parent                                                
Did not finish high school (†) (†) (†) 131 (0.6) 135 (1.0) 128 (0.7) 132 (0.7) 136 (1.2) 130 (1.0) 131 (1.4) 136 (1.9) 128 (1.8)
Graduated high school (†) (†) (†) 139 (0.4) 141 (0.6) 137 (0.5) 140 (0.4) 143 (0.7) 138 (0.6) 138 (1.2) 140 (1.5) 136 (1.4)
Some education after high school (†) (†) (†) 152 (0.4) 154 (0.5) 150 (0.4) 153 (0.4) 156 (0.7) 151 (0.6) 147 (0.9) 150 (1.3) 144 (1.1)
Graduated college (†) (†) (†) 161 (0.4) 162 (0.5) 159 (0.3) 162 (0.3) 164 (0.4) 160 (0.4) 161 (0.7) 163 (0.9) 159 (1.0)
                                                 
Eligibility for free or reduced-price
lunch
                                               
Eligible 134 (0.3) 134 (0.4) 133 (0.3) 133 (0.4) 135 (0.5) 131 (0.4) 137 (0.3) 139 (0.4) 135 (0.4) 132 (1.0) 135 (1.1) 130 (1.1)
Not eligible 163 (0.3) 164 (0.3) 163 (0.3) 161 (0.3) 163 (0.4) 159 (0.4) 164 (0.3) 166 (0.4) 161 (0.4) 157 (0.9) 159 (1.1) 154 (1.0)
Unknown 162 (1.3) 163 (1.7) 161 (1.3) 164 (1.2) 167 (1.4) 161 (1.2) 164 (1.6) 168 (2.2) 159 (2.2) 156 (2.7) 156 (3.6) 156 (3.0)
                                                 
School type                                                
Public 149 (0.3) 149 (0.3) 148 (0.3) 149 (0.3) 151 (0.4) 147 (0.3) 151 (0.2) 153 (0.3) 148 (0.3) (†) (†) (†)
Private 163 (0.9) 165 (1.2) 162 (1.0) 164 (0.9) 167 (1.2) 161 (1.0) 163 (1.4) 168 (1.9) 158 (1.9) (†) (†) (†)
                                                 
School locale                                                
City 142 (0.6) 142 (0.6) 142 (0.7) 142 (0.6) 144 (0.7) 141 (0.7) 144 (0.6) 146 (0.8) 142 (0.7) 146 (1.8) 148 (1.6) 144 (2.2)
Suburban 154 (0.4) 154 (0.6) 153 (0.4) 154 (0.5) 155 (0.6) 152 (0.5) 155 (0.5) 158 (0.5) 153 (0.6) 154 (1.4) 157 (1.8) 150 (1.5)
Town 150 (0.6) 151 (0.8) 149 (0.6) 149 (1.0) 152 (1.1) 147 (0.9) 153 (0.7) 155 (0.9) 150 (0.8) 150 (1.2) 153 (1.5) 146 (1.6)
Rural 155 (0.5) 156 (0.7) 154 (0.5) 154 (0.4) 156 (0.5) 152 (0.5) 156 (0.5) 159 (0.6) 153 (0.6) 150 (1.2) 153 (1.5) 146 (1.4)
                                                 
Percentile2                                                
10th 104 (0.6) 103 (0.6) 104 (0.5) 103 (0.6) 103 (0.7) 103 (0.6) 106 (0.5) 107 (0.9) 105 (0.7) 104 (1.2) 106 (1.8) 103 (1.1)
25th 128 (0.4) 128 (0.5) 128 (0.4) 128 (0.4) 130 (0.5) 127 (0.5) 131 (0.4) 133 (0.5) 129 (0.6) 126 (0.8) 128 (1.0) 125 (1.5)
50th 153 (0.3) 154 (0.4) 152 (0.4) 153 (0.3) 156 (0.4) 151 (0.3) 155 (0.3) 158 (0.5) 152 (0.4) 151 (1.1) 154 (1.4) 148 (1.1)
75th 175 (0.3) 176 (0.3) 174 (0.4) 175 (0.2) 178 (0.4) 172 (0.2) 176 (0.4) 179 (0.3) 173 (0.4) 174 (1.0) 178 (1.2) 171 (1.1)
90th 192 (0.3) 194 (0.4) 191 (0.5) 192 (0.3) 195 (0.2) 188 (0.4) 193 (0.4) 196 (0.4) 189 (0.5) 194 (1.0) 198 (0.9) 190 (1.4)
  Standard deviation of the science scale score3 
All students 35 (0.2) 36 (0.2) 34 (0.2) 35 (0.2) 36 (0.2) 34 (0.2) 34 (0.2) 35 (0.2) 33 (0.3) 35 (0.4) 36 (0.5) 34 (0.5)
  Percent of students attaining science achievement levels
Achievement level                                                
Below Basic 28 (0.3) 27 (0.4) 28 (0.3) 37 (0.4) 35 (0.5) 38 (0.4) 35 (0.3) 32 (0.4) 37 (0.5) 40 (1.0) 37 (1.1) 42 (1.3)
At or above Basic4 72 (0.3) 73 (0.4) 72 (0.3) 63 (0.4) 65 (0.5) 62 (0.4) 65 (0.3) 68 (0.4) 63 (0.5) 60 (1.0) 63 (1.1) 58 (1.3)
At or above Proficient5 34 (0.3) 35 (0.3) 32 (0.3) 30 (0.3) 34 (0.4) 27 (0.3) 32 (0.4) 35 (0.5) 28 (0.5) 21 (0.8) 24 (1.0) 18 (0.8)
At Advanced6 1 (0.1) 1 (0.1) 1 (0.1) 2 (0.1) 2 (0.1) 1 (0.1) 2 (0.1) 2 (0.1) 1 (0.1) 1 (0.2) 2 (0.3) 1 (0.2)
—Not available.
†Not applicable.
‡Reporting standards not met (too few cases for a reliable estimate).
1 Scale ranges from 0 to 300 for all three grades, but scores cannot be compared across grades. For example, the average score of 163 for White 4th-graders does not denote higher performance than the score of 159 for White 12th-graders.
2 The percentile represents a specific point on the percentage distribution of all students ranked by their science score from low to high. For example, 10 percent of students scored at or below the 10th percentile score, while 90 percent of students scored above it.
3 The standard deviation provides an indication of how much the test scores varied. The lower the standard deviation, the closer the scores were clustered around the average score. About two-thirds of the student scores can be expected to fall within the range of one standard deviation above and one standard deviation below the average score. For example, the average score for all 4th-graders was 150, and the standard deviation was 35. This means that we would expect about two-thirds of the students to have scores between 185 (one standard deviation above the average) and 115 (one standard deviation below). Standard errors also must be taken into account when making comparisons of these ranges. For a discussion of standard errors, see Appendix A: Guide to Sources.
4 Basic denotes partial mastery of the knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work.
5 Proficient represents solid academic performance. Students reaching this level have demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter.
6 Advanced signifies superior performance.
NOTE: In 2011, only 8th-grade students were assessed in science. Includes students tested with accommodations (7 to 11 percent of all students, depending on grade level and year); excludes only those students with disabilities and English language learners who were unable to be tested even with accommodations (2 to 3 percent of all students). Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2011 Science Assessment, retrieved August 1, 2012, from the Main NAEP Data Explorer (http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/). (This table was prepared August 2012.)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education