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In 2001, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) conducted a geography assessment of the nationís fourth-, eighth-, and twelfth-grade students. In the figures below, results in 2001 are compared to results of the 1994 NAEP geography assessment, which was the preceding NAEP geography assessment and the only other geography assessment conducted under the current framework. Studentsí performance on the assessment is described in terms of average scores on a 0Ė500 scale.
The results of the 2001 geography assessment show higher average scores than the results in 1994 at grades 4 and 8, and no statistically significant change at grade 12. As seen in figure 1, the average score of fourth-graders rose from 206 to 209, and the average score of eighth-graders rose from 260 to 262.
View Table 1.
The percentile indicates the percentage of students whose scores fell below a particular point on the NAEP geography scale. Percentile scores show how students with lower or higher ability performed compared to the national average. In addition, the percentile data show whether trends in the national average scores are reflected in scores at other levels of the performance distribution. At grades 4 and 8, scores at the two lowest percentiles (10th and 25th) were higher in 2001 than in 1994, suggesting that much of the improvement seen at grades 4 and 8 was concentrated among the lower-performing students (figure 2). Other apparent changes at these two grades were not statistically significant. At grade 12, consistent with national average score results, none of the apparent differences in percentile scores was statistically significant.
View Table 2.