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West Virginia Ranks 37th on National Science Assessment

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October 27, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia students who took the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) science exam in 2015 showed improvement according to data released today by the National Center for Educational Statistics. Both fourth- and eighth-grade students in West Virginia ranked 37th out of the 47 jurisdictions who participated.

Overall average scale scores increased for both fourth- and eighth-grade test takers, with fourth-grade scores increasing from 148 in 2009 to 151 in 2015 and eighth-grade scores increased from 145 in 2009 to 150 in 2015. The percent of students at or above proficient increased from 28.08% to 31.35% in grade four and 22.10% to 26.61% in grade eight. West Virginia’s scores followed the national trend which also showed improvement.

“I am pleased to see our students are moving in the right direction,” said State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michael Martirano. “In order to ensure our students are prepared for the 21st century world of work, we must focus on the development of critical thinking skills in the areas of math and science which the jobs of the future are going to require.”

NAEP, often referred to as “The Nation’s Report Card,” is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what students in the United States know and can do in various subject areas. The 2015 science assessment was given between January and March, with more than 115,000 fourth-graders and nearly 111,000 eighth-graders participating nationally, representing both public and private schools.

Nationally, nearly all racial/ethnic groups made gains, and the White-Black and White-Hispanic achievement gaps have narrowed in grades four and eight since 2009. Additionally, there was no statistically significant difference in average scores between boys and girls.

NAEP is a congressionally authorized project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. Full results for the nation and states are available online at www.nationsreportcard.gov.

For additional information, contact Kristin Anderson at the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at 304-558-2699 or Kristin.Anderson@k12.wv.us.

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