Most Urban Districts Fall Short of National Average on NAEP in Science

By Erik W. Robelen — February 24, 2011 1 min read
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I’ve been writing quite a bit about science achievement of late, and today there is still more data to mine: Most of the 17 urban districts that took part in a special administration of the NAEP science exam trailed the national average.

The exceptions were the school systems in Austin, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; and Jefferson County, Ky.; where 4th graders scored about the same as their peers across the country.

Even in those three districts, however, only about one-third of 4th graders were deemed “proficient” in science.

At the other end of the spectrum is some especially disheartening news: Only 4 percent of 4th graders in Cleveland and Detroit were rated proficient. In Baltimore, the figure was 5 percent.

Keep in mind that because of changes made to the framework for the National Assessment of Educational Progress in science, the new results are not considered comparable to those from the last round of testing in 2005.

For more of the results and analysis, check out our story. And here’s the full report from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Update (10:58am):
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has issued a statement on the results.

Also, here’s a comment from Michael Casserly from the Council of the Great City Schools at a press conference in Boston this morning (still ongoing) about the results: “There is really no national science education strategy that has any resonance at the local level, despite the rhetorical concerns about the nation’s international competitiveness. ... I don’t know of any superintendents ... who would be able to tell you what our national science strategy is.”

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.