Students Have Room for Improvement When it Comes to Science Scores

Posted November 10, 2016
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog roomforimprovementsciencescores 2016

In 2015, 63% of fourth graders and 67% of eighth graders test­ed below pro­fi­cient in science.

These pro­fi­cien­cy lev­els — while dis­cour­ag­ing — are mov­ing in the right direc­tion. In 2009, an even greater pro­por­tion of stu­dents at both grade lev­els were scor­ing below pro­fi­cient in sci­ence (68% of all fourth graders and 71% of all eighth graders).

Sci­ence pro­fi­cien­cy lev­els vary at the state lev­el, though stu­dents in the South­seem to be far­ing worse than their class­mates in oth­er parts of the coun­try. Three states with the low­est pro­fi­cien­cy lev­els — Mis­sis­sip­pi, Alaba­ma and New Mex­i­co — saw approx­i­mate­ly 8 out of every 10 eighth graders test­ing below pro­fi­cient in sci­ence in 2015.

Miss­ing these pro­fi­cien­cy bench­marks is con­cern­ing because a grow­ing demand for tech­ni­cal jobs will require tomorrow’s work­ers to employ sharp­ened math and sci­ence skills, say experts.

Vis­it the KIDS COUNT Data Cen­ter for more test score data at the state and nation­al level.

Fourth grade sci­ence achieve­ment levels
Eighth grade sci­ence achieve­ment levels

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