Chapter 8: State Indicators

Elementary and Secondary Education

Select Indicator:

Quartiles | Findings | Description

Fourth grade science performance: 2000

Fourth grade science performance: 2000

Fourth Grade Science Performance: 2000.


Fourth grade science performance: 2000*

1st Quartile
2nd Quartile
3rd Quartile
4th Quartile
No Data
Connecticut Idaho Alabama Arizona Alaska
Iowa Illinois Arkansas California Colorado
Maine Indiana Maryland Georgia Delaware
Massachusetts Kentucky New York Hawaii District of Columbia
Minnesota Michigan North Carolina Louisiana Florida
Missouri Nebraska Oregon Mississippi Kansas
Montana Ohio Rhode Island Nevada New Hampshire
North Dakota Oklahoma Tennessee New Mexico New Jersey
Vermont Utah Texas South Carolina Pennsylvania
Wyoming Virginia West Virginia   South Dakota
*States in alphabetical order, not data order.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress. See table 8-3.

Top of page.Top of page


  • Nationally, fourth graders in public schools had an average score of 8 in both the 1996 and 2000 science assessments when accommodations were not permitted.

  • State-level data are available only for 2000 when states and the District of Columbia did not meet minimum participation guidelines.

  • Within the limits of statistical significance, 18 states exceeded the 2000 national average science score, 11 had average scores, and 10 fell below the national average.

  • Between the 1996 and 2000 assessments, the average scale scores for various percentiles of student performance remained unchanged.

Top of page.Top of page


Science achievement at the fourth grade level lays the foundation for future science education. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is a federally authorized ongoing assessment of student performance in various subjects on a state and national scale. State participation is optional. NAEP does not compute scores for states that do not meet the minimum guidelines for the percentage of students or schools participating. This indicator reports the average scores in science for fourth grade students in public schools across each state.

For the fourth grade, a national sample and separate state-by-state samples were used. Both national and state results are reported only for public school students. In 1996, NAEP started permitting students with disabilities or limited English proficiency to use certain accommodations (e.g., extended time, small-group testing). At grade 4, the accommodations-permitted average score was one point lower than the accommodations- not-permitted average score for national data in 2000. The differences in state-level data were not statistically significant.

The NAEP science scale ranges from 0 to 300.

Top of page.Top of page
National Science Board.