Education Progress

How well do U.S. 8th graders score in math and science in each state?

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How well do U.S. 8th graders score in math and science in each state?

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Average NAEP math scores of public school students in grade 8,
by state: 2009
Average NAEP science scores of public school students in grade 8,
by state: 2009
Notes:
NAEP = National Assessment of Educational Progress (The Nation's Report Card)
Notes:
NAEP = National Assessment of Educational Progress (The Nation's Report Card)

Main Finding

Most state averages were in the “basic” range of performance on the 8th grade NAEP mathematics assessment and only Massachusetts achieved a “proficient” level score.

In 2009, the nationwide average science score of 8th grade public school students was 149. Average scores for individual states ranged from a high of 162 in Montana to a low of 132 in Mississippi.

Key Observations

  • Of the 40 jurisdictions that participated in both the 2000 and 2009 mathematics assessments, 35 showed statistically significant increases over the decade.
  • Since 2007, 8th grade mathematics scores increased for public school students in 15 states; nearly half of those states showing an increase were located in the West. No state showed a decline.
  • States with the highest average science scores for 8th graders were concentrated in the northern United States.
  • Of the 47 states and jurisdictions that participated, 25 had scores that were higher than the national average and 15 had scores that were lower.
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