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KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Eighth-graders in Department of Defense Education Activity schools scored higher on average than their peers in stateside public schools on a national standardized science test administered in spring 2011, DODEA officials announced this week.

But DODEA results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) science assessment remained stagnant, while the average score for eighth-graders stateside showed small improvement over 2009, when the science portion of NAEP was last given.

In a statement, DODEA Director Marilee Fitzgerald said “our student performance is excellent,” but added, “we’re looking forward to even higher levels of student achievement as we implement our new science curriculum, and integrate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning throughout our curriculum.”

DODEA has begun offering in select schools some classes in robotics, engineering, biotechnology engineering, gaming technology and green technology engineering as part of President Barack Obama’s nationwide initiative to spur students to excel in science, technology, engineering and math.

The NAEP science assessment is designed to measure students’ knowledge and abilities in physical science, life science, and Earth and space sciences.

In 2011, DODEA eighth-graders scored an average of 161 on the NAEP science assessment, compared with 162 in 2009, according to a DODEA news release. The nationwide average was 151 in 2011 and 149 in 2009, according to the DODEA release. Only two states – Montana and North Dakota – had a higher average score than DODEA, according to DODEA. In 2009, DODEA was tied with Montana and North Dakota for the highest average scores in the nation.

DODEA minority students’ performance on the 2011 test continued to outpace the national average, Fitzgerald said.

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