Washington’s 2011 Science NAEP Scores Exceed National Average
OLYMPIA — May 10, 2012 — For the second consecutive time, Washington’s eighth graders scored higher than the national average on the science National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP). This represents the third of three subject areas tested in 2011—reading, math and science—in which Washington exceeded the nation’s NAEP scores.
One statistic of particular note is the scale score increase for Hispanic students who scored at the 75th and 90th percentiles. In 2009, Washington’s Hispanic students scoring in the 75th and 90th percentiles received average scale scores of 154 and 169, respectively. Those numbers jumped to 162 and 179 in 2011.
State Superintendent Randy Dorn said Washington’s NAEP results continue to move in the right direction, but he acknowledged there should be an increased emphasis on science education so the positive results can be more significant. “Our kids are eager to learn about science,” Dorn said, noting that a questionnaire associated with the 2011 NAEP showed that two-thirds of Washington students report that they like science. “We need to maintain that interest and build momentum by providing opportunities to take their science learning to the next level.”
In addition to a significant increase in scale scores for Hispanic students at the 75th and 90th percentiles, Washington also saw an increase in scores for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch, students with disabilities and English language learners (ELL).
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas. Assessments are conducted periodically in mathematics, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, and U.S. history.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.
OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.
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The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.