The bad news: In a sampling of 122,000 8th graders from more than 7,000 schools across the country, fewer than one-third demonstrated proficiency in science on a test administered by National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The good news: Massachusetts students fared a bit better than most, with 40% of those tested scoring at the "proficient" level. Results of another science test administered by NAEP will be released in June. This test will measure students' proficiency in hands-on experiments. "We're very, very interested in tasks that look more like real science," said Sean P. “Jack” Buckley, the commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, which administers NAEP.
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