Despite years of educators' complaints that reading and math are crowding out other school subjects, new findings from the federal government show that USA middle-schoolers' basic knowledge of science is improving — at least a bit.
Test results from the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress show that eighth-graders' knowledge of basic science rose slightly from 2009 to 2011, with average scores on the latest NAEP assessment rising from 150 points to 152 — a small but statistically significant difference. The percentage of students rated "at or above proficient" also rose slightly.
The federal National Center for Education Statistics released the scores Thursday. NAEP, often called "the Nation's Report Card," randomly tests a large group of students regularly in several key subjects. All 50 states and the District of Columbia allowed students to take the science test in 2011.