Students! Science! Success!

May 10, 2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va – Students and science seem to be a catalyst for academic success in West Virginia. Data released today by the National Center for Educational Statistics as part of the Nation’s Report Card indicate that science scores are improving.

The Nation’s Report Card, also referred to as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), tests a representative sample of students statewide by distributing assessment questions in content areas among groups of test takers who take different versions of the test.

In 2011, the average score of eighth grade students was 149, a four point increase from the 2009 score. The percentage of students performing at or above the basic level in 2011 also increased to 63 percent, a five point jump from 58 percent in 2009

“These latest science results are encouraging,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple.  “We need to inspire children to take a greater interest in science, technology, engineering and math. In addition, we need to encourage young people to become science and math teachers to inspire the young scientists of tomorrow. I hope these results are a sign of a resurgence of interest in science.”

West Virginia will be updating its science standards in the near future as part of the Next Generation Science Standards initiative. Consequently, West Virginia was chosen to be one of 20 states to lead a national effort to set Next Generation Science Standards. The standards will clearly define the content and practices students will need to learn from kindergarten through high school graduation.

“Research tells us that common, rigorous standards lead to more students reaching higher levels of achievement,” added Marple. “In the 21st century, preparing today’s students for deeper levels of scientific investigation and understanding is critical to their future success. I am optimistic that as the Next Generation Science Standards are embedded into West Virginia’s curriculum NAEP scores will increase even further.”

As a lead state partner, West Virginia has guided the standard writing process, gathered and delivered feedback from state-level committees and come together to address common issues and challenges.

For more information about 2011 Science NAEP data visit or contact the WVDE Communications Office at (304) 558- 2699.

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