How are American students performing in science?
The National Assessment of Educational Progress has assessed the science abilities of students in grades 4, 8, and 12 in both public and private schools since 1996; however, the 2009 assessment is based on a new framework, so these results cannot be compared to those from previous assessments, but instead will provide a baseline for measuring students' progress on future NAEP science assessments.
The 2009 assessment scores were based on a scale that ranged from 0 to 300. In 2009, White 4th-graders had a higher average science score (163) than did Black (127), Hispanic (131), Asian/Pacific Islander (160), and American Indian/Alaska Native (135) 4th-graders. The average science score was higher for male 4th-graders (151) than for female 4th-graders (149). The pattern of differences in average science scores by students' race/ethnicity at grade 8 was similar to the pattern at grade 4. The average science score also was higher for male 8th-graders (152) than for female 8th-graders (148). At grade 12, average scores for White (159) and Asian/Pacific Islander (164) students were higher than the scores for Black (125), Hispanic (134), and American Indian/Alaska Native (144) students. The average science score in 2009 for male 12th-graders (153) was higher than the score for female 12th-graders (147).
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). Digest of Education Statistics, 2011 (NCES 2012-001), Chapter 2.
|Average science scale scores, by selected student characteristics: 2009|
|Total, all students||Male||Female||Total, all students||Male||Female||Total, all students||Male||Female|
|American Indian/Alaska Native||135||135||135||137||141||133||144||‡||‡|
‡ Reporting standards not met (too few cases).
NOTE: 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. Includes students tested with accommodations (7 to 11 percent of all students, depending on grade level); 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. (2012). The Digest of Education Statistics, 2011 (NCES 2012–001), Table 150.
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