Montana eighth graders ranked above international averages in mathematics and science in a first-of-its-kind comparison of student performance in U.S. and 47 other countries, according to the Montana Office of Public Instruction.
Only four countries scored above Montana eighth graders in science, and only seven countries scored better in math.
“In today’s economy, we know that our students are not only competing with students across the country, but with students across the globe,” said Denise Juneau, superintendent of public instruction. “This study is an important look at how our students are doing in science and math on a global scale.”
The study by the National Center for Education Statistics connects math and science scores of American students on the 2011 National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) with results from the 2011 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).
NAEP, often referred to as the nation’s report card, is taken by representative samples of American students and allows for state-to-state comparisons of achievement in mathematics, science and reading. TIMSS is taken by students in 38 countries and nine sub-national jurisdictions, including several Canadian provinces.
“Knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering and math continue to be in demand and are a pathway to high-paying jobs,” Juneau said. “K-12 educators will remain focused on delivering high-quality science and math instruction as well as inspiring students to explore these fields.”
Science scores of Montana eighth graders were higher than 43 countries and systems. Only Singapore, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei), South Korea, and Japan scored higher. Compared to the TIMSS averages of 500, average scores for 47 states were higher, two states were not significantly different, and three states were lower. Montana had a score of 551, which was seventh among states and 12th among all states and 50 countries. Eight states, including Montana, were at the High International Benchmark.
Math scores of Montana eighth graders were higher than 40 countries and systems. Only students in South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei), Hong Kong, Japan, Russia and Quebec ranked higher. Compared to the TIMSS averages of 500, average scores for 36 states were higher, 10 states were not significantly different, and six states were lower. Montana had a score of 531, which was ninth among states and 16th among all states and 50 countries.
To download the nation’s report card, click here.
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