Chapter 8: State Indicators

Elementary and Secondary Education

Select Indicator:

Quartiles | Findings | Description

Eighth grade science performance: 2000

Eighth grade science performance: 2000

Eighth Grade Science Performance: 2000.


Eighth grade science performance: 2000*

1st Quartile
2nd Quartile
3rd Quartile
4th Quartile
No Data
Idaho Connecticut Alabama Arkansas Alaska
Maine Illinois Arizona California Colorado
Massachusetts Indiana Maryland Georgia Delaware
Minnesota Kentucky New York Hawaii District of Columbia
Montana Michigan North Carolina Louisiana Florida
Nebraska Missouri Tennessee Mississippi Iowa
North Dakota Oklahoma Texas Nevada Kansas
Ohio Oregon West Virginia New Mexico New Hampshire
Vermont Rhode Island   South Carolina New Jersey
Wyoming Utah     Pennsylvania

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 8-7.

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  • Nationally, eighth grade students in public schools had an average score of 149 in the 2000 science assessment, which is not statistically different from the 1996 average science score of 148. Both scores represent samples in which accommodations were not permitted.

  • Within the limits of statistical significance, 16 states exceeded the 2000 national average science score, 11 had average scores, and 11 fell below the national average.

  • A statistically significant increase was observed in the scale score of the 90th percentile of the national sample, which indicates that the top performing students improved between the 1996 and 2000 assessments. Scale scores for the remaining students were not significantly different in the two assessments.

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Science achievement at the eighth grade level is important because it represents how prepared students are to undertake high school courses in biology, chemistry, and physics. This indicator measures the knowledge of a state’s eighth grade students in science.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is a federally authorized ongoing assessment of student achievement 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. For the eighth grade, a national sample and separate state-by-state samples were conducted. Both national and state results are reported only for public school students. Since 1996, NAEP permitted students with disabilities or limited English proficiency to use certain accommodations (e.g., extended time, small-group testing). At grade 8, the accommodations-permitted average score was identical to the accommodations-not-permitted average score for national data. The differences in state-level data were not statistically significant.

The NAEP science scale ranges from 0 to 300.

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National Science Board.