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2011 National Assessment of Education Progress Science Results

The release of grade 8 Science results for the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) demonstrate that New Hampshire students perform well above the national average and are grouped with the top performing states throughout the nation. The results reflect the strength of New Hampshire students’ understanding of Science. With an Average Scale Score of 162 – up two points from the previous NAEP assessment in 2009, New Hampshire eighth graders scored significantly higher than the National Average of 151. For students reaching an Achievement Level of at or above Proficient, New Hampshire students also demonstrated achievement significantly above the National percentage. With 42 percent of New Hampshire eighth graders achieving at or above proficient – a gain of three percentage points compared to 2009, New Hampshire students’ achievement was eleven percentage points higher than the national achievement of 31 percent.

Compared to all states and jurisdictions in the nation that participated in the NAEP 2011 grade 8 Science assessment, New Hampshire had an Average Scale Score higher than 42 states/jurisdictions and not statistically different than nine other states/jurisdictions. There were no states that scored statistically higher than New Hampshire on the NAEP Science assessment for 2011. Within New Hampshire, Male grade 8 students had an Average Scale Score of 165, while Female grade 8 students had an Average Scale Score of 160. Forty-six percent of New Hampshire grade 8 Male students had an achievement level of at or above proficient, while 38 percent of New Hampshire grade 8 Female students reached the same level of achievement. New Hampshire grade 8 students eligible for Free or Reduced-price School Lunch had an Average Scale Score of 152 with 29 percent having an achievement level at or above proficient. New Hampshire grade 8 students not-eligible for Free or Reduced-price School Lunch had an Average Scale Score of 165 with 45 percent achieving at or above proficient. For a more complete breakdown of Average Scale Scores and Achievement Level of all states and jurisdictions, including New Hampshire, go to and view the Nations Report Card State Snapshot Report and All States and Jurisdictions Report.

“We are glad to see that the grade 8 science results continue to increase,” said Commissioner of Education, Virginia M. Barry, Ph.D. “However, we have work to do in order to reach students from lower socio-economic groups. I am confident that with excellent teachers in every classroom we can close these achievement gaps and prepare all of our students for success.”

The National Assessment of Educational Progress is conducted at both the state and the national level. With respect to achievement levels for the assessment, the Proficient level represents solid academic performance with a demonstration of competency of challenging subject matter. For the NAEP 2011 Science assessment, approximately 120,000 grade 8 students were assessed nationwide. In New Hampshire, approximately 2,200 grade 8 students were assessed. The sample of New Hampshire students assessed resembled closely the demographics of New Hampshire grade 8 students with 91 percent identified at White; 2 percent Black; 3 percent Hispanic; and 2.5 percent Asian. The Gender breakdown was almost evenly split with 51 percent Male and 49 percent Female. Fifteen percent of the sample was identified as students having an educational disability while 2 percent were English Language Learners. Finally, 23 percent of the students assessed were eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch – up three percent from 2009.

For questions regarding New Hampshire’s NAEP 2011 grade 8 Science results, contact Tim Kurtz at (603) 271-3846 or Additional NAEP information can also be found at our Web site, or the Nation’s Report Card Web site,

New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711