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Press ReleaseThursday, May 10, 2012
DOE Press Office
Florida Students Make Steady Progress on NAEP Science- Hispanic students lead the way with significant increases -
Tallahassee, Fla. - Led by Florida's Hispanic students, results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2011 Grade 8 Science assessment show that students in the Sunshine State show improvement from 2009. Known as the Nation's Report Card, the NAEP results illustrate that the overall percentage of eighth grade students in Florida who performed at or above Basic in 2011 rose to 62 percent, significantly higher than 57 percent in 2009. The average score for Florida students is 148 compared with 151 nationwide. Since a small sample of approximately 2,300 eighth grade students attending 210 Florida public schools participated, a significant increase is an indicator of progress.
"I am extremely pleased that our eighth graders continue to improve on the NAEP Science assessment," said Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. "The improvement in science scores among Hispanic students is especially significant as we consider the growth of the Hispanic population in our state. As we work to ensure our students are prepared for high school, a career, and life, we know that science, technology, engineering and mathematics - STEM courses - play an important role in that preparation."
Hispanic students bolstered Florida's overall scores with a scale score of 144, up from 139 in 2009 and compared to 136 nationally. African American student scores rose from 126 in 2009 to 127 in 2011, compared to 128 nationally. Students with disabilities and English Language Learners also increased their scores, up from 122 in 2009 to 125 in 2011 and up from 106 in 2009 to 111 in 2011, respectively.
The percentage of Florida Hispanic students scoring at or above Basic and at or above Proficient was significantly higher than their national counterparts in both 2009 and 2011. In 2011, 57 percent of Florida Hispanic students scored at or above Basic compared to only 48 percent nationally, a significant increase from 2009 when 51 percent of Florida Hispanic students scored at or above Basic compared to 41 percent nationally. In 2011, 24 percent of Florida Hispanic students scored at or above Proficient compared to 16 percent nationally, a significant increase from 2009 when 17 percent of Florida Hispanic students scored at or above Proficient and 12 percent nationally. Florida African-American eighth graders' performance at the at or above Basic level also increased from 32 percent in 2009 to 34 percent in 2011, and the percent of African-American students scoring at or above Proficient in 2011 increased to nine percent, up from seven percent in 2009.
The percentage of Florida students scoring at or above Proficient increased by 3 percentage points in 2011, from 25 percent in 2009 to 28 percent in 2011. This compared with a gain of only 2 percentage points nationally to 31 percent, up from 29 percent in 2009. Florida's achievement gap between White and Hispanic students was significantly narrower than the nation's in 2009 and 2011 at both the at or above Basic and at or above Proficient levels. The percentage of Florida students eligible for the National School Lunch Program scoring at or above Proficient was significantly higher in 2011 with 18 percent of students, compared to 13 percent in 2009.
A congressionally-mandated project overseen by the National Center for Education Statistics to continuously monitor the achievement of the nation's children and youth, NAEP measures and reports on the knowledge and abilities of America's fourth, eighth and 12th grade students, providing data about students' performance in a variety of subject areas at national, regional and state levels.
For more information about Florida's 2011 NAEP Science results, visit http://www.fldoe.org/asp/naep/naep2011science.asp.