(January 2002) Results from the 2000 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) science assessment, released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in November 2001, show stable scores for fourth- and eighth-graders and a decline in performance among 12th-graders.

White 12th-graders, although they continued to have a higher average score than other racial/ethnic subgroups in the same grade, registered a statistically significant decline in scores, as did American Indian eighth-graders.

Factors associated with higher scores among eighth-graders included studying earth science, biology, chemistry, or physics rather than life science; and having a teacher who majored in science education. Among fourth-graders, the use of computers to play learning games was associated with higher scores.

*Significantly different from 2000.
+ Special analyses raised concern about the accuracy and precision of national Grade 4 Asian/Pacific Islander results in 2000. As a result, they are omitted here.
Source: NCES, NAEP, 1996 and 2000 Science Assessments (http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/, accessed Nov. 25, 2001).