Statement by Amber Arellano, Executive Director, Ed Trust–Midwest, on Today’s Release of State Results From the National Assessment of Educational Progress Science Exam

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Contact info: 

Amber Arellano, (734) 277-5084,; Donnell Green, (248) 854-5297,


Publication date: 
January 31 2011

ANN ARBOR, MI (January 25, 2011) -- Today’s release of results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) forfourth-grade  and  eighth-grade science shows Michigan lagging behind leading states in science achievement.  The performance of our African-American students is particularly disturbing, and demonstrates how critical it is for state leaders to take action on this front.

Black fourth-graders in Michigan scored third from the bottom of all participating states, above only Mississippi and Arkansas. Sixty-six percent of our African-American fourth-graders didn’t even make it to basic levels of science knowledge on the NAEP examinations, considered the “gold standard” in testing. In eighth grade, our black students tied for seventh from the bottom from all participating states.

White Michigan students also showed relatively weak performance, with white fourth-graders scored at about the national average on the NAEP science exam. Meanwhile, our low-income, eighth-grade students also fared poorly, with 51 percent scoring below basic levels of learning.

These scores are unacceptable. They reflect our schools’ poor performance—not our students’ great potential. Science and math achievement are hugely important drivers of economic development in today’s knowledge economy. Michigan must improve its student learning in these areas to rebuild its fragile economic base and put its citizens back to work in good-paying jobs.


For a deeper analysis of Michigan’s data, visit: