Texas fourth- and eighth-graders are outperforming most of their peers in science, according to the latest Nation's Report Card released Oct. 27, 2016.

White, African-American and Hispanic students in both grades rank in the top 10 nationally based on their average scores on the 2015 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), the Texas Education Agency said.

“The strong performance of our students on this national assessment is a reflection of effective teaching and rigorous curriculum seen on Texas campuses every school day,” said Commissioner of Education Mike Morath in a statement. “While the NAEP results are definitely worth noting, Texas educators share a commitment to ensuring strong performance in every subject in preparation for college, the workplace or military.”

NAEP is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what students in the United States know and can do in various subject areas. Between January and March 2015, the NAEP science assessment was given to about 115,400 fourth-graders (2,600 from Texas) and 110,900 eighth-graders (2,700 from Texas) representing the nation’s public and private schools. The science assessment is comprised of three content areas: physical science, earth and space sciences, and life science. The NAEP scale for science scores ranges from 0-300.

Fourth grade

Highlights of Texas fourth-grade performance on the 2015 science NAEP include:

  • In 2015, the average score of fourth-grade students in Texas was 155, which is higher than the average score of 153 for public school students in the nation.
  • The average score in Texas (155) is higher than the average score in 2009 (148).
  • Texas is one of only 18 states/jurisdictions that saw an increase from 2009.
  • The average score for fourth-grade white students in Texas ranks second nationally (up from third nationally in 2009).
  • The average score for fourth-grade African-American students in Texas ranks second nationally (up from third nationally in 2009).
  • The average score for fourth-grade Hispanic students in Texas ranks ninth nationally (up from 18th nationally in 2009).
  • The average score for all fourth-grade students in Texas taking the 2015 science NAEP ranks 25th nationally (up from 35th nationally in 2009).

Eighth grade

Highlights of Texas eighth-grade performance on the 2015 science NAEP include:

  • In 2015, the average score of eighth-grade students in Texas was 156, which is higher than the average score of 153 for public school students in the nation.
  • The average score in Texas in 2015 (156) is higher than the average score in 2011 (153) and 2009 (150).
  • Texas is one of only 24 states/jurisdictions that saw an increase from 2009.
  • The average score for eighth-grade white students in Texas ranks first nationally (up from 7th nationally in 2011).
  • The average score for eighth-grade African-American students in Texas ranks second nationally (up from third nationally in 2011 and seventh nationally in 2009).
  • The average score for eighth-grade Hispanic students in Texas ranks fifth nationally (matching 2011 and up from sixth in 2009).
  • The average score for all eighth-grade students in Texas taking the 2015 science NAEP ranks 22nd nationally.

Full results for the nation and states are available online. For more information, visit http://nationsreportcard.gov/.