State students improved their scores on last year’s national test of science knowledge.
The average score for fourth-graders on the National Assessment of Educational Progress increased six points from 2009. The percentage of students proficient or better in science sits at 36 percent, about the national average.
Students are assigned to one of four achievement levels based on their scores: below basic, basic, proficient and advanced.
The percentage of North Carolina fourth-graders proficient or better was up from 30 percent in 2009.
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The percentage of fourth-graders whose science knowledge was basic or better was at 76 percent, up from 69 percent in 2009.
The average score for North Carolina eighth-graders increased 2 points from the 2011 score, which is not considered a significant change.
The share of eighth-graders proficient or better in science, 31 percent, was about the same as the national average of 33 percent. In 2011, 26 percent of the state’s eighth-graders were proficient or better in science.
Not all students take NAEP tests, so there is no assessment of proficiency by local district or school. The test is not administered every year.
“Science is a key component to a well-rounded education in today’s economy and society,” state Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson said in a statement. “I expect to see North Carolina’s science achievement continue to increase in the coming years.”
Achievement gaps between white and minority students narrowed nationwide and in North Carolina.