N.D. eighth-graders tops in science scores
BISMARCK - North Dakota eighth-graders lead the nation in science, according to a national assessment released Thursday. Students earned the top ranking based on the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress science scores. State Superinte...
BISMARCK - North Dakota eighth-graders lead the nation in science, according to a national assessment released Thursday.
Students earned the top ranking based on the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress science scores.
State Superintendent Wayne Sanstead said the accomplishment is a testament to students, parents and schools.
"Advancement in science is a measurable indicator of a quality education and readiness for a promising future for students," he said in a statement. "I commend our teachers for their many efforts to provide a high-quality, standards-based education as is evidenced by this outstanding student performance."
It's clear North Dakota teachers are making science a priority, Sanstead said.
"Some of it, I think, is the strength of our rural communities, as well, where the kids have exposure to science in agriculture and their community," he said.
Montana, Vermont, New Hampshire and South Dakota were also in the top five. Minnesota was eighth. California, Alabama, Mississippi and the District of Columbia ranked at the bottom.
North Dakota Education Association President Dakota Draper had not yet seen the report, but said the No. 1 ranking was a good day for North Dakota education.
"I think we have the best teachers in North Dakota across the line, and this is just one thing showing how good they do," he said.
The science assessment is designed to measure students' knowledge in physical science, life science, and Earth and space sciences, according to nationsreportcard.gov.
The report found 44 percent of North Dakota students are proficient or advanced in science compared to the national average of 31 percent.
Eighteen percent of North Dakota students scored below a basic knowledge level, while 38 percent scored at a basic level. Nationwide, 36 percent of students were below basic and 34 percent were at a basic level.
North Dakota eighth-graders also had the top score in the nation on the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress science assessment.