Digging in to the NAEP Exam data

Data from the 2011 8th grade Science NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) exam were recently released…and the results signal we can do better for our students.

Here are the proficiency rates for Washington, the U.S. (public schools only) and (for fun) Massachusetts:








Yes, a higher percentage of Washington 8th graders were proficient on the Science NAEP, compared to the national average, but is 35 percent really good enough? Massachusetts, one of the leading states in education, is still missing the halfway mark with just 44 percent proficient. If we look at students by race/ethnicity and income group, we see some pretty stark disparity between groups.

This isn’t to minimize any progress we have made. Since the revamped version of the exam was administered in 2009, students of color and low-income students have made gains. In Washington, Latino students have raised their average scale score by nine points. That’s still 22 points less than the average scale score of White students.

All this to say, we’re making progress and we still have a lot of work to do.

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  1. Lara May 11, 2012

    Curious about NAEP math scores as well. Do they tell a similar story? What is LEV’s positiion on math curriculum approaches and what the performance data tells us about which directions we should be taking?

  2. Heather May 15, 2012


    Math NAEP scores were released earlier. You can see them here: LEV does not make recommendations about specific curricula (e.g. Everyday Math, Discovering Math, etc); administrators, principals, teachers and parents are better suited to make those decisions.


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