Washington state eighth graders in public schools scored higher than the national average in the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) science test, according to the latest results from 2011 testing.
The NAEP, often referred to as the nation’s report card, is overseen by the U.S. Department of Education. NAEP administers tests in various subjects to nationwide samples of students in grades 4, 8 and 12. NAEP does not provide scores for individual students or schools.
In 2011, the average Washington eighth-grade science score was 156, just above the national average of 151. But Washington students also scored well in the 2009 NAEP, with an average score of 155. The one-point increase was not considered statistically significant.
Washington’s average was lower than that of 14 states or jurisdictions, higher than 26 others and not significantly different from 11 others.
The latest NAEP results show a persistent achievement gap between white and minority students, and between low-income and more affluent students. Black students had an average score that was 30 points lower than white students, while Hispanic students had an average score that was 23 points lower. Low-income students had an average score that was 22 points lower than students who were not eligible for free and reduced-price school lunches. None of those results were significantly different from 2009 testing.