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Utah Eighth Graders Have Top Science Test Scores In U.S.

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The National Assessment of Educational Progress—also known as “the Nation’s Report Card” released its science scores Thursday. It shows Utah students are doing well above average in the subject.

Test scores show Utah eighth graders outperforming their peers in every other state in the country last year. Utah’s fourth grade students ranked in the top ten for science scores.

“Science education in Utah has expanded over the years,” says Mark Peterson with the Utah Board of Education. “And we’re really looking into getting kids into inquiry and curiosity, rather than just regurgitation of facts. So it appears to be paying off.”

He says teachers and students deserve recognition for the accomplishment.

“This is where the rubber meets the road,” Peterson says, “and they are doing the hard work of putting those scores together.”

Peterson says though Utah has the lowest rate of per-pupil finding, it allocates a higher percentage of that funding toward classroom instruction, “rather than into administration or other areas.”

He says educators stress to students that pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering and math fields will lead to higher-paying and more secure jobs.

Test scores released last year showed Utah students performing above average in math and reading, as well.

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