Kentucky NAEP science scores outpace national averages

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The results of the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in science show that Kentucky’s 4th- and 8th-graders scored higher than the national averages.

Scale scores for 4th- and 8th-graders in 2009 are significantly above the national average. The NAEP science grading scale ranges from 0 to 300.

Kentucky and National Scale Scores for NAEP Science

 4th-Grade Scale Score8th-Grade Scale Score
KentuckyNationKentuckyNation
2000152145150148
2005158149153147
2009161149156149


NOTE: The NAEP 2009 science results are based on new science frameworks, meaning that direct comparisons to prior years’ overall scale scores are not recommended.

Disaggregated scale scores also show that, in all but one category, Kentucky students outperformed the nation. The only Kentucky group that did not have higher scores than the nation was 8th-grade white students, whose average scale score was 159, compared to the national average of 161 for the same group.

2003 marked the first year NAEP was administered in all states, as mandated in the federal No Child Left Behind Act. States applying for Title I funds must indicate that they plan to participate in NAEP.

KEY FINDINGS FOR 2009 NAEP SCIENCE

Grade 4:

  • In 2009, the average science score for 4th-grade students in Kentucky was 161. This was higher than that of the nation’s public schools (149).
  • In 2009, the percentage of students in Kentucky who performed at or above Proficient was 45 percent. This was greater than that for the nation’s public schools (32 percent).
  • In 2009, the percentage of students in Kentucky who performed at or above Basic was 83 percent. This was greater than that for the nation’s public schools (71 percent).

Grade 8:

  • In 2009, the average science score for 8th-grade students in Kentucky was 156. This was higher than that of the nation’s public schools (149).
  • In 2009, the percentage of students in Kentucky who performed at or above Proficient was 34 percent. This was greater than that for the nation’s public schools (29 percent).
  • In 2009, the percentage of students in Kentucky who performed at or above Basic was 71 percent. This was greater than that for the nation’s public schools (62 percent).

NAEP is a project of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), reporting on the academic achievement of elementary and secondary students in the United States. For more than 30 years, NAEP has been the country’s only nationally representative and continuing survey of students’ educational achievement.  Because the national NAEP samples were not designed to support the reporting of state-level results, state NAEP samples were introduced in 1990 to provide participating states reliable data concerning the achievement of their students.

MORE INFO…
National Assessment of Educational Progress
Lisa Gross, lisa.gross@education.ky.gov, (502) 564-2015

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