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Digest of Education Statistics
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Table 224.40. Average National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) geography scale score, standard deviation, and percentage of students attaining geography achievement levels, by grade level, selected student characteristics, and percentile: Selected years, 1994 through 2014
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Selected student characteristic 4th-graders 8th-graders 12th-graders
19941 2001 2010 19941 2001 2010 2014 19941 2001 2010
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
  Average geography scale score2 
All students 206 (1.2) 208 (0.9) 213 (0.8) 260 (0.7) 260 (1.0) 261 (0.7) 261 (1.0) 285 (0.7) 284 (0.8) 282 (0.6)
Sex                                        
Male 208 (1.4) 210 (1.0) 215 (0.9) 262 (0.9) 262 (1.2) 263 (0.8) 263 (1.1) 288 (0.8) 287 (1.0) 285 (0.6)
Female 203 (1.4) 206 (1.3) 211 (0.9) 258 (0.8) 258 (1.0) 259 (0.8) 260 (1.0) 281 (0.9) 281 (0.8) 280 (0.8)
                                         
Race/ethnicity                                        
White 218 (1.5) 219 (1.1) 224 (0.9) 269 (0.8) 269 (1.4) 272 (0.6) 273 (1.0) 290 (0.8) 291 (0.8) 290 (0.5)
Black 166 (2.4) 180 (1.8) 192 (1.3) 229 (1.7) 233 (1.6) 241 (1.1) 240 (1.1) 258 (1.4) 258 (1.5) 261 (1.2)
Hispanic 177 (3.3) 185 (2.5) 197 (1.2) 238 (2.0) 237 (2.0) 244 (1.0) 248 (1.1) 269 (1.7) 268 (1.6) 270 (1.2)
Asian/Pacific Islander 211 (4.0) 214 (3.5) 224 (3.3) 262 (5.3) 264 (2.7) 268 (2.7) 275 (2.5) 283 (3.1) 284 (5.0) 285 (1.7)
Asian3 (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 275 (2.6) (†) (†) (†)
Pacific Islander3 (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†)
American Indian/Alaska Native (†) (†) 201 (3.5) 251 (5.5) 261 (5.3) 250 (3.9) (†) (†) (†) 277 (2.5)
Two or more races3 (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 264 (2.5) (†) (†) (†)
                                         
Parents' highest level                                        
of education4                                        
Did not finish high school (†) (†) (†) 238 (1.7) 236 (1.8) 243 (1.3) 243 (1.2) 263 (1.2) 266 (1.7) 263 (1.2)
Graduated high school (†) (†) (†) 250 (1.2) 251 (1.2) 251 (1.1) 250 (1.3) 274 (1.1) 275 (0.9) 274 (0.8)
Some education after high school (†) (†) (†) 265 (1.0) 264 (1.1) 262 (1.0) 261 (0.9) 286 (1.0) 284 (0.9) 280 (0.7)
Graduated college (†) (†) (†) 272 (1.0) 273 (1.0) 272 (0.7) 272 (1.2) 294 (0.9) 293 (1.0) 291 (0.7)
                                         
Eligibility for                                        
free or reduced-price lunch                                        
Eligible (†) 185 (1.4) 197 (0.7) (†) 239 (1.3) 246 (0.9) 248 (1.0) (†) 268 (1.7) 269 (0.8)
Not eligible (†) 221 (1.1) 227 (0.8) (†) 269 (1.2) 272 (0.7) 274 (1.2) (†) 287 (1.0) 288 (0.5)
Unknown (†) 219 (2.8) 227 (3.7) (†) 265 (2.3) 276 (2.6) 277 (3.0) (†) 288 (1.6) 289 (2.2)
                                         
Percentile5                                        
10th 146 (1.9) 159 (2.6) 169 (1.8) 213 (1.3) 213 (1.2) 220 (1.2) 220 (1.2) 244 (0.9) 246 (1.1) 247 (0.8)
25th 179 (1.5) 184 (1.4) 192 (1.2) 237 (1.0) 238 (1.3) 241 (0.7) 242 (1.3) 265 (1.1) 266 (1.2) 265 (0.8)
50th 211 (1.1) 211 (1.0) 216 (1.1) 263 (1.1) 264 (1.2) 263 (0.9) 263 (1.0) 287 (0.9) 286 (0.9) 284 (0.7)
75th 237 (1.3) 235 (1.4) 236 (0.7) 285 (0.9) 285 (1.1) 284 (0.9) 283 (0.9) 306 (1.0) 304 (0.9) 301 (0.7)
90th 257 (2.0) 254 (1.3) 253 (0.9) 302 (1.9) 302 (1.1) 300 (0.7) 300 (1.3) 321 (1.0) 319 (1.3) 315 (0.7)
                                         
  Standard deviation of the geography scale score6 
All students 44 (0.8) 37 (0.8) 33 (0.4) 35 (0.4) 35 (0.5) 31 (0.3) 31 (0.5) 30 (0.4) 28 (0.4) 26 (0.3)
                                         
  Percent of students achieving geography achievement levels
Achievement level                                        
Below Basic7 30 (1.1) 27 (1.0) 21 (0.9) 29 (1.0) 28 (1.2) 26 (0.9) 25 (1.1) 30 (0.9) 29 (1.0) 30 (0.9)
At or above Basic7 70 (1.1) 73 (1.0) 79 (0.9) 71 (1.0) 72 (1.2) 74 (0.9) 75 (1.1) 70 (0.9) 71 (1.0) 70 (0.9)
At or above Basic by sex                                        
Male 71 (1.3) 74 (0.9) 80 (1.0) 72 (1.3) 73 (1.5) 75 (1.0) 76 (1.1) 73 (1.1) 74 (1.3) 73 (1.0)
Female 68 (1.4) 71 (1.5) 78 (1.1) 69 (1.1) 71 (1.1) 73 (1.1) 74 (1.2) 67 (1.2) 68 (1.2) 66 (1.2)
At or above Basic by race/ethnicity                                        
White 81 (1.3) 84 (1.1) 89 (1.0) 81 (0.9) 82 (1.5) 86 (0.7) 88 (0.9) 78 (0.9) 81 (0.9) 81 (0.8)
Black 33 (2.4) 43 (2.5) 57 (2.1) 34 (3.0) 39 (2.4) 49 (1.7) 48 (2.1) 33 (2.3) 33 (2.0) 36 (1.8)
Hispanic 44 (3.1) 50 (3.1) 64 (1.7) 49 (3.8) 45 (2.5) 55 (1.5) 61 (1.7) 48 (3.0) 48 (2.9) 52 (2.0)
Asian/Pacific Islander 72 (4.4) 77 (4.2) 87 (3.2) 72 (6.7) 77 (3.6) 80 (3.3) 87 (2.0) 67 (3.8) 70 (6.2) 73 (2.7)
Asian3 (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 87 (2.0) (†) (†) (†)
Pacific Islander3 (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†)
American Indian/Alaska Native (†) (†) 68 (6.4) 62 (7.7) 74 (4.8) 62 (7.2) (†) (†) (†) 62 (5.1)
Two or more races3 (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 79 (3.5) (†) (†) (†)
At or above Proficient8 22 (1.2) 20 (0.9) 21 (0.8) 28 (1.0) 29 (1.3) 27 (0.8) 27 (1.2) 27 (1.2) 24 (1.2) 20 (0.8)
At Advanced9 3 (0.4) 2 (0.3) 2 (0.2) 4 (0.4) 4 (0.5) 3 (0.2) 3 (0.4) 2 (0.5) 1 (0.3) 1 (0.1)
—Not available.
†Not applicable.
‡Reporting standards not met (too few cases for a reliable estimate).
1 Accommodations were not permitted for this assessment.
2 Scale ranges from 0 to 500.
3 In geography assessments prior to 2014, separate data for Asians, Pacific Islanders, and students of Two or more races were not collected.
4 Based on student reports. Data for students whose parents have an unknown level of education are included in table totals, but not shown separately.
5 The percentile represents a specific point on the percentage distribution of all students ranked by their geography 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.
6 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 8th-graders in 2014 was 261, and the standard deviation was 31. This means that about two-thirds of the students would be expected to have scores between 292 (one standard deviation above the average) and 230 (one standard deviation below). Standard errors also must be taken into account when making comparisons of these ranges.
7 Basic denotes partial mastery of the knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work.
8 Proficient represents solid academic performance. Students reaching this level have demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter.
9 Advanced signifies superior performance.
NOTE: In 2014, only 8th-grade students were assessed in geography. Includes public and private schools. For 2001 and later years, includes students tested with accommodations (3 to 13 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 (1 to 4 percent of all students). Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 1994, 2001, 2010, and 2014 Geography Assessments, retrieved April 30, 2015, from the Main NAEP Data Explorer (http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/). (This table was prepared April 2015.)

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