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For Immediate Release — February 1, 2011 | HQ
: DoDEA Educational Communications Officer | (703) 588-3260
: DoDEA Educational Communications Officer | (703) 588-3265

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — February 1, 2011 — Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) fourth grade and eighth grade students scored well above the national average on 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Science Assessment.

The NAEP Science Assessment was administered to all DoDEA fourth and eighth grade students from January to early March 2009. DoDEA's domestic and overseas school systems participated in NAEP as a single jurisdiction.

The average science scores for DoDEA's fourth and eighth graders were higher than the national averages. DoDEA fourth graders' average score was 159, compared to an average score for the nation of 149. DoDEA's average score for eighth graders was 162, compared to an average score of 149 nationally.

NAEP is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas. Assessments are conducted periodically in mathematics, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, and U.S. history. NAEP does not provide scores for individual students or schools; instead, it offers results regarding subject-matter achievement, instructional experiences, and school environment for populations of students (e.g., fourth-graders) and groups within those populations (e.g., female students, Hispanic students). NAEP results are based on a sample of student populations of interest.

The science framework, which describes the knowledge and skills that should be assessed, was recently updated to incorporate new advances in science, research on science learning, and components from international science assessments. Because of the changes to the assessment, the results from 2009 cannot be compared to those from previous assessment years; however, they provide a current snapshot of what the nation's fourth-, eighth-, and twelfth-graders know and can do in science that will serve as the basis for comparison with future science assessments.

The 2009 science results also highlight differences in students' performance based on demographic characteristics (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, family income, and school location) and how results in participating states/jurisdictions compare to the national results.

DoDEA's Proficient and Advanced Level Achievement Ranks Significantly Higher than the Nation

The percentage of DoDEA students who performed at or above the NAEP Proficient and Advanced Levels was greater than the nation for both fourth and eighth grade students on the 2009 Science Assessment. Forty percent (40%) of DoDEA's eighth graders scored in the Proficient and Advanced levels compared to 29% of the nation. Forty percent (40%) of DoDEA's fourth graders scored in the Proficient and Advanced levels compared to 32% of the nation.

DoDEA's results were the same in an analysis of students performing at or above the NAEP Basic level. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of DoDEA's eighth graders performed at or above the NAEP Basic level in 2009 in comparison to 62% for the nation. Eighty-four percent (84%) of DoDEA's fourth graders performed at or above the NAEP Basic level in 2009 in comparison to 71% of the nation.

Acting DoDEA Director, Ms. Marilee Fitzgerald, is encouraged with DoDEA 4th and 8th grade students' performance and envisions an even better performance on the next science assessment.

"We are encouraged our students' performance on the NAEP science assessment," said Ms. Fitzgerald. "However, there is more work to be done to move a greater percentage of our students to higher levels of performance. We will continue to examine our science program to identify ways we can ensure our students achieve measurable and enduring progress in their performance. This includes initiatives that we are going to develop and emphasize in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) arenas."

In comparing DoDEA's average scale score in NAEP science for eighth grade students with scores for the nation and other participating jurisdictions, DoDEA's average scale score was not significantly different from six states (Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New Hampshire). DoDEA's scale score was significantly higher than 40 states and jurisdictions. Five jurisdictions did not participate.

NAEP 2009 Average Science Score: Grade 8
State/Jurisdiction Average Scale Score
DoDEA, Montana, North Dakota 162
South Dakota 161
Massachusetts, New Hampshire 160
Minnesota 159
Idaho, Maine, Ohio, Utah, Wyoming 158
Wisconsin 157
Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Virginia 156
Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington 155
Nation 149

In comparing DoDEA's average scale score in NAEP science for fourth grade students with scores for the nation and other participating jurisdictions, DoDEA's average scale score was significantly lower than three states (New Hampshire, North Dakota, Virginia) and not significantly different from nine states (Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin). DoDEA's scale score was significantly higher than 34 states and jurisdictions. Five jurisdictions did not participate.


NAEP 2009 Average Science Score: Grade 4
State/Jurisdiction Average Scale Score
New Hampshire 163
North Dakota, Virginia 162
Kentucky 161
Maine, Massachusetts, Montana 160
DoDEA 159
Minnesota 158
Iowa, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin 157
Connecticut, Missouri, Wyoming 156
Colorado, New Jersey 155
Idaho, Pennsylvania 154
Delaware, Indiana 153
Nation 149

Minority Achievement

DoDEA Minority Group Students Continue their High Performance

African American students in DoDEA continued to perform higher than their national counterparts. In 2009, DoDEA's African American eighth grade students had an average score that was 26 points lower than white students. DoDEA's African American fourth grade students had an average score that was 25 points lower than White students. This performance gap was ten points narrower than the nation (30 points).

Hispanic students in DoDEA also continued to perform higher than their national counterparts. In 2009, Hispanic eighth grade students had an average score that was 15 points lower than White students. This performance gap was narrower than the nation (30 points). In 2009, Hispanic students had an average score that was 13 points lower than White students. This performance gap was narrower than the nation (32 points).

DoDEA's African American students continued to score higher than their national counterparts in science.

NAEP 2009 Average Science Scale Scores African American Students
Grade 8 Students 2009
Score Rank
DoDEA African American 144 1st
Nation African American 125  
DoDEA White 170  
Nation White 161  
Nation All Students 149  

NAEP 2009 Average Science Scale Scores African American Students
Grade 4 Students 2009
Score Rank
DoDEA African American 141 Tied w/Virginia for 1st
Nation African American 127  
DoDEA White 166  
Nation White 162  
Nation All Students 149  

DoDEA's Hispanic students continued to score higher than their national counterparts in science.

NAEP 2009 Average Science Scale Scores Hispanic Students
Grade 8 Students 2009
Score Rank
DoDEA Hispanic 155 Tied w/Montana for 1st
Nation Hispanic 131  
DoDEA White 170  
Nation White 161  
Nation All Students 149  

NAEP 2009 Average Science Scale Scores Hispanic Students
Grade 4 Students 2009
Score Rank
DoDEA Hispanic 153 1st
Nation Hispanic 130  
DoDEA White 166  
Nation White 162  
Nation All Students 149  

Additional Information

Detailed statistical information on the 2009 NAEP science assessment and all other NAEP assessments can be found on the web at the following URL: www.nationsreportcard.gov


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