Washington state eighth-graders are better at math and science than the average American student, a new federal study says.
A report for the Council of Chief State School Officers says the Washington students scored well on standardized math tests even though the state has fewer specially trained math teachers.
Students in Northwest states rank among the best in the nation, according to the study, which was funded by the National Science Foundation and released Thursday. Most Southern states ranked below the national average.
Larry Suter, a foundation deputy director, believes Northwest students scored better because their states place higher values on education.
Idaho chose not to participate in the council’s study of test scores.
According to the report, Washington scored above the national average on the National Assessment of Education Progress test for math proficiency for eighth-grade students. They were tested on basic arithmetic involving whole numbers, decimals, fractions and percents.
The average score for all U.S. students was 271 points out of 500. The average score for Washington students was 276 points.
Eighth-graders also were tested on earth science, practical reasoning and scientific investigation concepts by the NAEP. Washington state students scored slightly higher than average.
The report noted that Idaho and Washington rank last and next to last, respectively, for teachers with degrees in mathematics. Only 46 percent of Idaho’s junior and senior math teachers, and 49 percent of Washington’s, have such a degree. The national average is 72 percent.
A greater percentage of the two states’ science teachers have their degrees in science. In Washington, 83 percent of science teachers have such a degree, while in Idaho, the figure is 77 percent. The national average is 74 percent.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: TOP SCORES Washington students scored above the national average on the National Assessment of Education Progress test for math proficiency for eighth-grade students. The average score for all U.S. students was 271 points out of 500. The average score for Washington students was 276 points.