According to the state Department of Education, South Carolina students saw significant score increases on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) science test last year.
“Our elementary and middle school student’s performance above the national average on the NAEP science assessment is a true testament to the hard work and emphasis on learning our teachers and schools put in every day to ensure student academic success,” Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said in a statement.
The NAEP science test was administered to approximately 4,600 fourth and eighth grade students in the spring of 2015.
The results, commonly referred to as the Nation’s Report Card, are used as large-scale student assessments across the country. Nationally, 115,400 4th grade students and 110,900 8th graders participated in the spring 2015 NAEP science assessment. The assessment was also given to 11,000 12th grade students but those results are not reported out on the state level.
Scores on the NAEP science test are reported on a 300-point scale and as percentages in achievement levels: Below Basic, Basic, Proficient, and Advanced. The average score for 4th-grade students in South Carolina last year was 155, six points higher than their average in 2009 and two points higher than the 2015 national average. During the same time period, South Carolina 8th grade students scaled eight higher score points.
African-American fourth graders had an average scale score of 135 last year — a seven-point increase since 2009. African-American 8th graders also had a seven-point increase since 2009, 131 to 124. The national average for this group in 2015 was 131.
South Carolina fourth-grade English language learners (ELL) performed 26 points higher than the national average for the same group 147 to 121. In the eightth grade, South Carolina ELLs also scored 26 points higher than the national average, 136 to 110.
“I commend all of our students, parents, and educators for this success and look forward to replicating it in years to come across all of our subject areas,” Spearman said.