Utah Eighth Graders Top Nation in Science; Fourth Graders Ranked Eighth

 

 

 

 

October 27, 2016
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Peterson, public relations director
801-538-7635 ∙ mark.peterson@schools.utah.gov

Utah Eighth Graders Top Nation in Science; Fourth Graders Ranked Eighth

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah eighth graders turned in the best science scores in the nation in 2015, collectively raising their average score by five points and beating the national average by 13 points, according to data released today by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card. Utah fourth graders raised their average score by six points, enough to rank eighth in the nation in 2015, NAEP also reported.

Utah’s eighth grade science scores improved between 2011 and 2015 for white, Hispanic, and American Indian students, as well as for students both eligible and not eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and for boys as well as girls, NAEP reported. There were not enough Asian, black, or Pacific Islander students included in the NAEP sampling of 2,400 Utah students to determine academic progress. The overall percentage of Utah students who are at or above proficient levels in eighth grade science rose from 43 percent in 2011 to 50 percent – the highest in the nation – in 2015. Nationally, only 33 percent of eighth grade students were deemed at or above proficient in science, NAEP noted. Utah’s top-ranked scale score of 166 was matched only by schools operated by the U.S. Department of Defense, but Utah had a larger percentage of students assessed at proficient or above. New Hampshire at 165 and Minnesota at 164 rounded out the top four, NAEP reported.

Similar across-the-board score increases were reported for Utah fourth graders. Overall, Utah fourth grade NAEP science scale scores rose from 154 to 160. Nationally scores rose from 149 to 153. Top states for fourth grade science were Department of Defense schools at 166, New Hampshire and Virginia at 165, Vermont at 163, Nebraska at 162, and Massachusetts and Wyoming at 161. 44 percent of Utah fourth graders were at proficient or above in science compared to 37 percent nationally.

“I am incredibly proud of our Utah students and teachers for turning in this level of performance in science,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson. “While there is still clearly room to grow and still achievement gaps that have to be erased, Utah should take pride in this accomplishment.”

No individual school or district data is available. For more information please visit http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/.

2015 NAEP 8th Grade Science Scale Score Comparison
Group Utah Nation
All students 166 153
White 172 165
Hispanic 144 139
Asian/Pacific Islander 157 163
American Indian 138 140
Male 168 154
Female 164 151
Low income 152 140
Not low income 174 167
2015 NAEP 4th Grade Science Scale Score Comparison
Group Utah Nation
All students 160 153
White 166 165
Hispanic 134 138
Asian/Pacific Islander Not Available Not Available
American Indian Not Available Not Available
Male 161 153
Female 158 153
Low income 146 140
Not low income 168 169
2015 NAEP 8th Grade Science Proficiency Comparison
(Percentage of Students At or Above Proficient)
Group Utah Nation
All students 50 33
White 57 46
Hispanic 23 18
Asian/Pacific Islander 36 46
American Indian 22 17
Male 54 36
Female 46 31
Low income 32 18
Not low income 59 49
2015 NAEP 4th Grade Science Proficiency Comparison
(Percentage of Students At or Above Proficient)
Group Utah Nation
All students 44 37
White 52 50
Hispanic 17 20
Asian/Pacific Islander Not Available Not Available
American Indian Not Available Not Available
Male 48 38
Female 42 36
Low income 30 22
Not low income 54 55

www.schools.utah.gov

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