MADISON — Wisconsin students outperformed the nation in both assessed grades on the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) science assessment.
Average scale scores for Wisconsin public school students in grade eight and grade four were not statistically different from the last administration of the exam. Small improvements in scale scores of Wisconsin takers across subgroups were seen but the results must be viewed with caution due to the fact that the NAEP uses samples of students and is not a census exam.
When looking at performance for subgroups of Wisconsin students, a number outperform the national averages in grades eight and four. Those include English-language learners (EL) in both grades, males and females in both grades, non-disabled students in both grades, and non-EL students in grade eight. Wisconsin student results showed no statistical difference from other groups of takers nationally when comparing American Indian or Alaska Native students in grade four, Asian students in grade eight, Hispanic students in both grades, white students in both grades, students eligible for free or reduced-price school meals in both grades, and students with disabilities in both grades. Students nationally outperformed Wisconsin when compared across subgroups of black students in both grades and Asian students in grade four.
The NAEP science assessment was administered between January and March of 2015 to approximately 2,500 fourth-graders and 2,300 eight-graders in Wisconsin public schools. Nationally, approximately 110,800 fourth-graders and 107,200 eighth-graders took the test. The most recent administration of NAEP science in 2011 was only given to eighth-grade students. The science exam is broken into three content areas that assess knowledge and skills in physical science, Earth and space sciences, and life science. Because the exam is administered to a sample of students, no results are available for individual schools or districts.
NOTE: A table of results disaggregated across subgroups for the 2009, 2011, and 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress in science is in the official news release..