NJDOE News

For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Richard Vespucci
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director
    609-292-1126

For Release: May 24, 2006


New Jersey Students Score Above National Average in Sciences

New Jersey fourth- and eighth-graders scored above the national average on science tests administered by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in 2005, the Department of Education announced today.

“These scores tell us that, on average, we’re doing better than the nation, but there is still a lot of work to do,” said acting Commissioner Lucille E. Davy.  “We expect our students to be among the best in the nation and there is always room for improvement.”

The Department of Education will continue efforts to ensure that local school science curricula are linked properly to the state’s academic standards in a way that will maximize student achievement.  These efforts include increased staff training and sharing best practices.

The science results are from the state NAEP assessment that was administered during a seven week period in the winter of 2005.  The scores, released by the National Assessment Governing Board, are broken into four categories: below basic, basic, proficient and advanced. 

Today’s results for the fourth-grade show the following:

  • New Jersey’s average scale score was higher (154) than the nation’s (149);
  • The percentage of fourth-graders (33) who performed at or above proficient is higher than the national average (27 percent); and
  • The percentage of fourth-graders who performed at or above basic (72 percent) is greater than the national average (66).

Eighth-grade results are similar:

  • New Jersey’s average scale score was higher (153) than the nation’s (147);
  • The percentage of eighth-graders (33) who scored at or above proficient was greater than the national average (27 percent); and
  • The percentage of eighth-graders (65) who scored at or above basic was higher than the national average (57 percent).

Since 1969, NAEP has periodically conducted assessments in reading, mathematics, science, writing, U.S. history, civics, geography, and the arts. The 2005 test was the first time New Jersey students participated in science. 
NAEP score for reading and math were released in October 2005.

For more information about NAEP in general and its report results, please log onto http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/.

For additional information about this release, please contact the New Jersey Department of Education, Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.