Maine Students Score Better Than in Most States on National Science Test

AUGUSTA – Maine students outperformed students in most other states on the National Assessment of Educational Progress science test, the only test of student achievement that allows comparison of student performance across states.

Maine tied for the fifth highest science score in grade 4 and tied for eighth highest in grade 8. By some measures, such as percent of student proficiency, Maine ranks even higher on the test, which was administered in 2009 and is being reported today.

Statewide at the fourth grade, 42 percent of students in Maine scored at the “proficient” level or above. In the eighth grade, 35 percent of students scored at or above the “proficient” level.

Maine’s lower-income students are doing well compared to in other states and the nation as a whole. In Maine, 29 percent of students eligible for free or reduced lunch in the 4th grade scored at or above the “proficient” level compared to 16 percent nationally. In the 8th grade, 22 percent of Maine eligible students score “proficient” or above, compared to 14 percent nationally. The gap between lower-income and other students in Maine is much smaller than the gap in the nation as a whole.

Maine’s Black students are also doing better than the national average in both grades 4 and 8. Other minority subgroups had too few students in the testing sample to report.

Students with Disabilities in Maine also scored significantly higher than those in that category across the nation.

The test was revamped for 2009 to include a greater focus on how well students could apply the knowledge they learned, rather than simply science facts.

View the NAEP results for Maine

Information about NAEP from the National Center on Education Statistics, including the national report

For more information, visit the Maine Department of Education