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Stat of the Week — Jan. 10, 2007

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Comparing State Science Achievement

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly called "the Nation's Report Card," has been assessing representative samples of U.S. students in various subjects since 1969. Because of its role in judging national and state achievement, it is not surprising that NAEP was named one of the most influential studies in education policy by experts. (Read the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center’s new study, Influence: A Study of the Factors Shaping Education Policy. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)This week's Stat of the Week focuses on NAEP science scores at the state level. The National Center for Education Statistics, which is responsible for the NAEP project, conducted its most recent science assessments in 2005.

The following maps show statistically significant changes in average NAEP science scores. At grade 4, nine states had significantly increased scores from 2000 to 2005. No states had significant decreases. At grade 8, ten states had increased scores, while four states had decreased scores. Five states—California, Hawaii, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Virginia—had significantly increased scores at both grade 4 and grade 8.

As of 2003, states are required to participate in NAEP reading and math testing. States are not required to participate in NAEP science testing. Data is not available for some states because they did not participate in 2000, 2005, or both years. Data is not available for Wisconsin for 4th and 8th grades because NAEP's reporting standards were not met. The District of Columbia did not participate because of insufficient sample size.

To find out more about assessment in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, access the Education Counts database.

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