Baesler Praises ND Student Performance in National Science Exam

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For Immediate Release
Oct. 27, 2016
Contact: Dale Wetzel, Public Information Specialist
Office 701-328-2247
Cell: 701-400-8557

BISMARCK, N.D., Oct. 27, 2016 – North Dakota Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said the state’s fourth and eighth graders ranked in the top five among states in a science exam given as part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

North Dakota’s fourth and eighth graders scored well above the national average on the exam, Baesler said Thursday.

The NAEP, which is known as the Nation’s Report Card, is given in almost all of the 50 states. It is intended to provide a nationally representative report on student achievement in science, math and reading.

The science exam, which covered earth and space sciences, physical science and life science, was given last year to 2,400 North Dakota fourth graders and 2,300 eighth graders. Nationally, it was given to 115,400 fourth graders and 110,900 eighth graders in 46 states. The 2015 NAEP science test results were released Thursday.

“I think it’s a true testimony to the hard work that our students are doing in their classrooms, and to the hard work that our teachers are doing with our students to enable them to really grow and achieve at such high academic levels,” Baesler said.

Among fourth graders, the average science exam score was 161, compared to a national average of 153, Baesler said. Exam results for eighth graders were the same, with an average score of 161 and a national average of 153.

North Dakota’s 161 score for fourth and eighth graders ranked in the top five among states, with New Hampshire and Virginia sharing the No. 1 spot. Among eighth graders, Utah was first, with a top average score of 166.

The test results showed significant improvement for North Dakota’s Native American fourth graders, who saw their average score jump from 135 in 2009 to 145 in 2015, Baesler said.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress science exam was last given to fourth graders in 2009. It was last administered to eighth graders in 2011.

Comprehensive data on the NAEP science results can be found at the National Center for Education Statistics website.