Arizona’s students trail the nation in reading and math scores — and now they can add science to that list. The National Center for Education Statistics released science scores on Wednesday for 44 participating states in a nationwide assessment.
Arizona’s fourth-graders ranked 42nd — outscoring only California and Mississippi. The state’s eighth-graders ranked 38th.
The assessment also determined that the students did not make significant gains since the 2000 science test.
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne said in 2003 there were no state science academic standards broken down by grade
level. It took a year for the science standards to be completed.
“It will take a few years for that to take effect,” he said. “But, I think that it will make a big difference in the kids’ scores.”
The National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the “nation’s report card,” tested a sampling of 165,000 fourth- and eighthgraders and roughly 10,000 12th-graders nationwide, including about 3,000 from Arizona.
Arizona has consistently lagged behind national averages since 1992.
Horne stated previously in the Tribune that the national Terra Nova test is a better indicator of how Arizona’s students compare nationally.
A trial run of the science portion of Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards test will be given for the first time next year per federal requirement.
For more information on the 2005 NAEP science assessment, visit