---Scores in grades 4 and 8 at or better than national average ---
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released results from the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Science assessment earlier today. The NAEP assessments, known as the “Nation’s Report Card,” were administered in science to all fourth and eighth grade students in Delaware’s public schools from January to March 2009.
Delaware students did at or better than the national average. A summary of results is below. It is important to note that content of the exam changed in 2009, thus 2009 scores cannot be directly compared to prior years' results.
Scores are on a scale of 0-300:
Grade 4 Science
In 2009, the average score of fourth grade public school students in Delaware was 153, which can be compared to the national average of 149. This comparison shows that Delaware’s fourth grade students scored higher on average than the national average on the NAEP Science assessment.
There are four achievement levels in NAEP: 1) Below Basic; 2) Basic; 3) Proficient; and 4) Advanced. The percentage of fourth grade students in Delaware who performed at or above the NAEP Basic level was 77% as compared to 71% for public school students in the nation. The percentage of students performing at Proficient or above was 34% for Delaware and 33% nationally.
Grade 8 Science
In 2009, the average score of eighth-grade public school students in Delaware was 148 and was on par with the national average (149). The percentage of eighth grade students who performed at or above the NAEP Basic level was 62% which was the same as the nation. The percentage of students performing at Proficient or above was 25% for Delaware, which was smaller than the nation at 29%.
Performance gaps between White students and Black students, and White students and Hispanic students were narrower than the national averages. Also, students in Delaware who were eligible for free/reduced-price school lunch, an indicator of low family income, had a narrower performance gap than the nation at both grade 4 and grade 8.
“The 2009 NAEP Science results for Delaware’s fourth and eighth graders highlight continued progress for our students,” said Secretary of Education Lillian M. Lowery. “While we still have more work to do, we are pleased that we continue to close the achievement gap in both grades.”
NAEP is administered every two years. The 2009 assessment reflects updates to keep current with key developments in science, curriculum standards, assessments and research. The 2009 framework organizes science content into three broad content areas: 1) Physical science; 2) Life science; and 3) Earth and space sciences.
The 2009 science assessment was composed of 143 questions at grade 4 and 162 questions at grade 8. Students responded to only a portion of the questions, which included both multiple-choice questions and questions that required a written response.
For additional information, please visit the National Center for Educational Statistics’ website at: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard or contact Duncan Smith, the NAEP State Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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