Thursday, October 27, 2016
NAEP Science Results Improve, Gaps Narrow in Grades 4 and 8
Students in Grades 4 and 8 showed significant improvements on the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in science compared to 2009, according to new results released today (October 27). Scores for the nation’s Grade 12 students were unchanged.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released 2015 NAEP science scores for the nation (grades 4, 8 & 12), as well as other jurisdictions (grades 4 & 8) that participated in the assessment, including 46 states and the Department of Defense schools. The NAEP science assessment was given to a representative sample of students across the nation to determine what they know and can do across three content areas—physical science, life science, and earth and space science.
The results provide a common yardstick and allow for a clear picture of student academic progress over time. The results are provided in average scores on a 0-300 scale and as the percentage of students performing in three achievement levels—Basic, Proficient, and Advanced. Results are reported for the nation overall and for selected student demographic groups by race/ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status.
Grade 4: Nationally, 38 percent of students scored at or above the proficient achievement level, an increase from 34 percent in 2009. Significant improvement was seen among all racial and ethnic subgroups and the average score gaps between Black and White and Hispanic and White students narrowed. There was no different between male and female scores. Compared to 2009, improvements were seen in all three content areas and average scores increased in 18 states, while declining in just one state.
Grade 8: Nationally, 34 percent of Grade 8 students scored at or above the proficient achievement level, an increase from 32 percent in 2011 and 30 percent in 2009. Significant improvements were seen by students identified as White, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic from 2011 and 2009. The average score gaps between Black and White and Hispanic and White students narrowed as did the gap between male and female students. Compared to 2009, Grade 8 students improved in all three content areas and scores increased in 24 states and declined in none.
Grade 12: Nationally, 22 percent of Grade 12 students scored at or above proficient, which is unchanged from 2009. There were also no changes in the scores of racial/ethnic or gender subgroups. Male students outperformed female students on the 2015 NAEP science, and the gap of five points did not change from 2009. In 2015, about 41 percent of Grade 12 students reported taking biology, chemistry, and physics since Grade 8, which is higher than 2009 (34 percent).
- Learn more about the 2015 NAEP Science Results
- Learn more about NAEP