In the 2009 NAEP science results released yesterday, Kentucky student scale score performance ranked:
- 2nd of 46 states for fourth graders eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.
- 1st of 46 states for fourth graders not eligible for those lunches.
- 5th of 46 states for eighth graders eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.
- 9th of 46 states for eighth graders not eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.
By all means, read those bullets twice, and the second bullet one more time. If you need to see the results in their official habitat, try the NAEP Data Explorer, run your own analysis, and then come back here. But however long you need to let this sink in, let it sink in until you're sure that something truly good is happening in Kentucky's public schools.
As I always say, there's work still be done. We've still got a gap between those two groups to close, and the whole country needs to move science learning to a higher level.
Nevertheless, we've got a leading position on figuring out those challenges. There are just a few states with a case that we should look to them for a model, and many states with a reason to look to us.
So, for these results and our overall scale score rankings of 4th in grade 4 and 16th in grade 8, a little celebration is surely in order: celebration of our children, and our educators, and our decades of statewide effort to keep attention on the full curriculum of knowledge and skills that each and every child will need for adult success.