Iowa students in the fourth and eighth grades outperformed their peers on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) science test, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Education. Iowa was one of forty-seven states or jurisdictions which participated in the NAEP science tests, given to students in 2009.

 “Having a strong foundation in the principles of scientific inquiry is a marketable workforce strength,” said Jason Glass, director of the Iowa Department of Education. “Our quality in science education supports the effort to bring much needed jobs to Iowa.”

 Iowa fourth grade students had an average score of 157 in science; the national average was 149. Iowa eighth grade students had an average score of 156 in science; the average national score was 149.

 “One of the reasons I am excited about the future of education in Iowa is because we have such a strong foundation from which to help every student succeed,” said Jason Glass, director of the Iowa Department of Education. “The people of Iowa have invested in an education system that is making a positive difference for so many children. We are in a good position to move forward with innovations that will help prepare every student for their next step in life.”

 In Iowa, approximately 2,800 fourth grade students and 2,700 eighth grade students took the NAEP science test in 2009.

 NAEP, more commonly known as the Nation’s Report Card, is administered by the National Center for Education Statistics with the U.S. Department of Education. It is the largest continuing and nationally representative assessment of what students know and can do in subjects such as mathematics and reading.