The State Department of Education says on the 2011 student assessment tests, Hawaii was the only state to make significant gains in the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests for mathematics for grades 4 and 8, reading for grades 4 and 8, and science for grade 8.
Between January and March 2011, NAEP administered assessments in all 50 states and two jurisdictions (District of Columbia and Department of Defense schools) to a nationally representative sample of 422,000 fourth- and 465,000 eighth-grade students. NAEP is a congressionally mandated project of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
According to the NCES, the NAEP Science assessment measures students’ knowledge in physical science, life science, and earth and space sciences. Introduced in 2009, it is based on a new and more challenging framework incorporating current science advances, innovations in assessment approaches, and growth in national and international science assessments.
Due to the new testing framework, assessment results for 2011 can only be compared to 2009. NAEP 2011 Science Results — Grade 8 Hawaii placed twelfth among the states in scale score gains between 2009 and 2011. Average scale score for grade 8 science increased from 139 to 142 between 2009 and 2011. In comparison, the national average increased two points from 149 to 151. On NAEP achievement levels, 55% of Hawaii’s eighth graders were at or above Basic level, including 22% at or above Proficient level and 1% at Advanced level. Nationwide, 64% were at or above Basic, including 31% at or above Proficient and 2% Advanced.
Hawaii’s students performed best in earth and space science. Hawaii’s average scale score was higher than or statistically equivalent to six of the 52 states and jurisdictions tested. Hawaii was higher than Louisiana and the District of Columbia, and equivalent to Arizona, California, Louisiana, and Alabama. Hawaii’s achievement level (at or above 22 percent Proficient, up from 17 percent in 2009) was higher than or statistically equivalent to nine of the 52 states or other jurisdictions. It was higher than the District of Columbiaand equivalent to Alabama, Arizona, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, and West Virginia,
NAEP achievement levels are set by the National Assessment Governing Board. “Basic” indicates partial mastery of prerequisite grade-level knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at each grade, “Proficient” represents solid academic performance and demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter, and “Advanced” stands for superior performance.
The Department of Education noted that the term “proficient” as used by NAEP is not synonymous with the term used under No Child Left Behind.
Thanks to the State Department of Education for this information.