- Washington has slight edge in science scores, but gaps continue
- Not much movement since 2009 ... 29 percent not basic; 36 percent basic; 34 percent proficient; 2 percent advanced (numbers are rounded)
- Details: Nation’s Report Card: 2011 Science
- In our state: Washington’s 2011 snapshot report
Washington’s eighth-graders scored a little better than the national average on the science portion of the Nation’s Report Card, but the state’s gaps among subgroups remained entrenched.
Nationally, score gaps between black and white students and between Hispanic and non-Hispanic white students narrowed between 2009 and 2011. In Washington, the score gap widened for black students and narrowed for Hispanic students, but the changes were not significantly different. (Details below)
As a state, we are pretty much where we were in 2009, though there was small progress among subgroups of students.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress' science test measures students' knowledge and abilities in the areas of physical science, life science, and Earth and space sciences.
GOOD NEWS: As a whole, students in our state continued to score higher than the national average (Washington: 156; national: 151). When broken out by subgroup, Washington students averaged the same or better scores than the corresponding national subgroup.
BAD NEWS: Where 43 percent of Washington's white students scored at proficient, only 15 percent of black students did so. We continue to show wide gaps and we haven't increased proficiency much overall. White and Asian students score much higher than black, Hispanic and Native American students. And children from low-income households trail those from non-low-income households.
In 2011, Washington's black students averaged 30 points lower than our white students. In 2009, they averaged 27 points lower.
- Nationally, the 2011 gap between these subgroups is 34 points – with the average score for black students in Washington at 133, and the national average for black students at 129.
In 2011, Washington's Hispanic students averaged 23 points lower than our non-Hispanic white students. In 2009, they averaged 29 points lower.
- Nationally, the 2011 gap between these subgroups is 26 points – with the average score for Hispanic students in Washington at 141, and the national average score for Hispanic students at 137.
- Nationally the 2011 gap between these subgroups is 27 points – with the average score for low-income students in Washington at 143, and the national average score for low-income students at 137.
-- Ramona Hattendorf, WSPTA government relations coordinator