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Status of Education in Rural America
NCES 2007-040
June 2007

2.3. National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) science achievement


A larger proportion of public school students in rural areas in the 4th, 8th, and 12th grades in 2005 scored at or above the Proficient level in science than did their peers in cities. There were no measurable differences between the percentages of rural and suburban public school students scoring at the Proficient level in any of the three grade levels.

Nationwide, 27 percent of 4th-grade public school students scored at or above the Proficient level on the 2005 NAEP science assessment (table 2.3). The percentage of such 4th-graders scoring at this level in rural areas (32 percent) was larger than in towns (27 percent) or cities (19 percent). There was no measurable difference between the percentages of 4th-graders in rural and suburban areas achieving at or above the Proficient level. Within rural areas, a larger percentage of public school 4th-graders in fringe rural areas scored at this level (34 percent) than their peers in distant rural (30 percent) and remote rural (28 percent) areas.

The pattern for 8th-grade public school students scoring at or above Proficient in science was similar to that for 4th-graders, with 27 percent of such 8th-graders in the United States scoring at or above this level. Again, a larger percentage of 8th-graders in rural areas scored at or above the Proficient level (30 percent) than in towns (28 percent) and cities (19 percent). There were also no measurable differences between the percentages of public school 8th-graders in rural and suburban areas scoring at this level or between the percentages of such 8th-graders achieving at this level in each of the three rural locales.

Among 12th-grade public school students nationally, 17 percent scored at or above the Proficient level in science. A greater proportion of such 12th-graders achieved at this level in rural areas (18 percent) than in cities (13 percent), but there were no measurable differences in the percentages of 12th-graders in rural areas, towns, and suburbs who scored at this level. There were also no measurable differences between the percentages of public school 12th-graders in each of the three rural locales scoring at or above the Proficient level.


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