The Nations’ Report Card has created an feature that enables users to use the same interactive computer tasks probes that 4th graders, 8th graders, and 12th graders used for the 2009 NAEP. Each grade level has one 40 minute task and two 20 minute tasks where the topics range from students determining how much sunlight and nutrients are needed for plants to grow to the ocean conditions needed to support phytoplankton growth.
After completing the online tasks, you are able to see compare your answers to the actual students. For example, 54 percent of 8th graders were able to complete the honey experiment and explain themselves.
Click on the image below and try if for yourself!
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.