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Youth Indicators, 2005: Trends in the Well-Being of American Youth

Indicator 16: Science Proficiency

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Table 16. National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) science scores, by age and selected student characteristics: Various years, 1973 to 1999
Student characteristic197319771986199019941999197319771986199019941999
 White, non-Hispanic259256259264267266304298298301306306
 Black, non-Hispanic205208222226224227250240253253257254
Highest level of parental education2
 Less than high school 223229233234229265258261256264
 Graduated high school245245247247243284277276279281
 Some education after high school260258263260261296295296295297
 Graduated college266264267269268309304306311307
Science courses taken
 General science290292296298
Not available.
1All participants of this age were in school.
2As reported by students.
NOTE: The NAEP scores range from 0 to 500, but have been evaluated at certain performance levels. Performers at the 150 level know some general scientific facts of the kind that can be learned from everyday experiences. Performers at the 200 level are developing some understanding of simple scientific principles, particularly in the life sciences. Performers at the 250 level can interpret data from simple tables and make inferences about the outcomes of experimental procedures. They exhibit knowledge and understanding of the life sciences, and also demonstrate some knowledge of basic information from the physical sciences. A score of 300 implies the ability to evaluate the appropriateness of the design of an experiment and the skill to apply scientific knowledge in interpreting information from text and graphs. These students also exhibit a growing understanding of principles from the physical sciences. A score of 350 implies the ability to infer relationships and draw conclusions using detailed scientific knowledge from the physical sciences, particularly chemistry. These students also can apply basic principles of genetics and interpret the societal implications of research in this field. Excludes persons not enrolled in school and those who were unable to be tested due to limited proficiency in English or due to a disability. Includes students in public and private schools. The science assessment was not administered in 2004.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 1999 Trends in Academic Progress: Three Decades of Student Performance, 2000.

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