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TABLE K–12-6 Students at or Above Basic and Proficient Levels as Measured in NAEP Mathematics and Science Tests, Grades 4, 8, and 12, by Sex: 1996 and 2000

Variable

 

1996

 

 

2000

 

Grade 4

Grade 8

Grade 12

Grade 4

Grade 8

Grade 12

Mathematics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At or above basic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Male..........................

65*

62*

70*

70

67

66

 

 

Female......................

63*

63

69*

68

65

64

 

At or above pro cient

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Male..........................

24*

25*

18

28

29

20

 

 

Female......................

19*

23

14

24

25

14

Science

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At or above basic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Male..........................

68

62

60*

69

64

54

 

 

Female......................

67

61

55

64

57

51

 

At or above pro cient

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Male..........................

31

31*

25

33

36

21

 

 

Female......................

27

27

17

26

27

16

NOTE: *Significantly different from 2000.

SOURCE: National Science Board. Science and Engineering Indicators 2004. NSB 04-01. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2004. Appendix Table 1-4. This table was based on US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The Nation’s Report Card: Mathematics 2000. NCES 2001-517. Washington, DC: US Department of Education, 2001; National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The Nation’s Report Card: Science 2000. NCES 2003-453. Washington, DC: US Department of Education, 2003.

tively when surveyed to statements such as “I like math” than has been the case in the past. The number of schools offering advanced courses, such as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate has increased dramatically, but the vast majority of students in high school will never take an advanced science or mathematics course (see Tables K–12-7 and K–12-8; see Figure K–12-3). And a lack of interest in science, mathematics, and technology is particularly pronounced among disadvantaged groups that have been underrepresented in those fields.

In general, many Americans do not know enough about science, technology, and mathematics to contribute to or benefit from the knowledge-based society that is taking shape around us. At the same time, other countries have learned from our example that preeminence in science and engineering pays immense economic and social dividends, and they are boosting their investments in these critical fields.

The traditions of autonomy and pluralism in American education limit



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