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Mathematics and Science Achievement of Fourth-Graders between 1995 and 2003

Comparisons of the mathematics and science achievement of fourth-graders between 1995 and 2003 are made for the 15 countries that collected data in both years.

  • No measurable changes were detected in the average mathematics and science scores of U.S. fourth-graders between 1995 and 2003. Moreover, the available data suggest that the performance of U.S. fourth-graders in both mathematics and science was lower in 2003 than in 1995 relative to the 14 other countries that participated in the studies.
  • U.S. fourth-grade girls showed no measurable change in their average performance in mathematics and science between 1995 and 2003. U.S. fourth-grade boys also showed no measurable change in their average mathematics performance, but a measurable decline in science performance over the same time period.
  • U.S. Black fourth-graders improved in both mathematics and science between 1995 and 2003. Hispanic fourth-graders showed no measurable changes in either subject, while White fourth-graders showed no measurable change in mathematics, but declined in science.
  • As a result of changes in the performance of Black and White fourth-graders, the gap in achievement between White and Black fourth-grade students in the United States narrowed between 1995 and 2003 in both mathematics and science. In addition, the gap in achievement between Black and Hispanic fourth-graders also narrowed in science over the same time period.

Tables

  • Table 3 — Differences in average mathematics scale scores of fourth-grade students, by country: 1995 and 2003
  • Table 4 — Differences in average science scale scores of fourth-grade students, by country: 1995 and 2003

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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education