WA students improve science scores

For the second consecutive year, Washington eighth-graders improved their scores, and scored higher than the national average, for the science portion of the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP).

The NAEP also measures students' abilities in reading and math — areas in which Washington state students also scored higher than the national average for NAEP scores.

According to the Washington State Office of the Superintendent (OSPI), one group that has shown remarkable improvement over the past couple of years are Hispanic students who scored in either the 75th or 90th percentile.

In 2009, Hispanic student's average score at the 75th percentile was 154, and 169 at the 90th percentile. In 2011, those average scores jumped to 162 and 179, respectively.

"Our kids are eager to learn about science," said state Superintendent Randy Dorn, referencing a 2011 survey that showed that two-thirds of Washington students indicated they like the sciences. "We need to maintain that interest and build momentum by providing opportunities to take their science learning to the next level."

According to OSPI, other groups that showed improvement in science scores included those that qualify for reduced or free lunch, students with disabilities, and students who are English language learners.


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