Science and Mathematics Education Indicators

CCSSO collaborates with state departments of education and federal agencies in developing and reporting a system of indicators of the condition of K-12 science and mathematics education. The Council's series of indicator reports focusing on science and mathematics education began in 1991. Statistical trends are reported by state and for the nation on key indicators of student achievement, curriculum, teacher preparation, and school conditions. Currently a focus of CCSSO work with science and math indicators is to improve the reliability, comparability, and use of indicators of teacher quality. The Council advises states on data definitions and applications of indicators, collaborates with federal agencies for improved data sources, and provides models for reporting and applying indicators for education improvement.

State Indicators of Science and Mathematics Education: 2007

The 2007 edition of the Science and Mathematics Indicator series includes four parts.

  1. State-level Science and Mathematics Secondary Student Course Enrollments and Teacher Assignments
  2. Closing the Gap in Science Achievement: Using NAEP Science Assessment Scores to Analyze State Trends
  3. Closing the Gap in Reading and Math: NAEP Trends Show Significant Positive Effects for Almost Half the States
  4. 50-State Analysis of the Preparation of Teachers and the Conditions for Teaching, based on SASS teacher surveys

NAEP Trends by State in Mathematics and Science: 1996 to 2005
July 2006

CCSSO analyzed the change in state NAEP results from 1996 to 2005 for the percentage of students scoring proficient or higher in mathematics grade 4 and 8, and science grade 8. Please view the attached graphs and tables.

The average national gain in students in Math grade 8 at proficient or higher was six percentage points (to 28 percent). In nine states students made gains of 10 points or more, with Massachusetts and South Carolina gaining 16 points. The average national gain in math grade 4 was 15 percentage points (to 35 percent). In 11 states students made gains of 20 points or more, with Massachusetts gaining 25 points, and South Carolina and Wyoming gaining 24 points.

Nationally, there was no gain in the percent of students proficient in Science at grade 8 (27 percent). In eight states students made gains of 5 points or more, with Delaware gaining 9 points and Kentucky, Vermont, and Virginia gaining 7 points.

State Indicators of Science and Mathematics Education 2005

State Data Appendices

CCSSO Report shows Gains in Student Enrollments in Higher-Level Science and Mathematics; Continued Demand for Qualified Teachers

November 2005-- The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is releasing a new edition of the biennial series, State Indicators of Science and Mathematics Education. The report provides state, national, and local decision-makers, educators, and researchers with key indicator trends and valid state by state comparisons. The purpose of the Science and Mathematics Indicators series, which began in 1991, is to improve the quality and reliability of information concerning the progress of K-12 science and mathematics education in our public schools.

The 2005 report focuses on two key areas for State-level indicators: (a) course enrollments in science and mathematics in the middle grades and high school, and (b) teacher supply and quality in the critical teaching fields of science and mathematics.

Data are analyzed across the states and trends are reported by state from 1996 to 2004. The state-by-state and national indicators in the report have multiple uses, including analyzing effects of policies, planning program improvements, identifying indicators for more detailed analysis at the district or school level, and conducting research on education change across states.

Several significant findings are reported in the 2005 State Indicators of Science and Mathematics Education:

Increased enrollments in Higher-level Mathematics and Science Courses: Four years of high school mathematics were completed by 50 percent of graduates as of 2004, and 72 percent completed three years of high school math. High school chemistry was completed percent by 60 percent of graduates as of 2004, and 25 percent completed physics.

During the 2003-04 school year, 48 percent of all high school students were taking a higher level mathematics course (above algebra 1), which represented an increase of 10 points from 1995-96. In the same year, 31 percent of all high school students were taking a higher level science course (chemistry, physics or an advanced course in any field). The percentages of students taking higher level courses in mathematics and science varied by state from 23 percent to 60 percent.

Demand for Qualified Teachers continues to rise: From 1996 to 2004, the number of high school and middle grades teachers of science and math increased by 20 percent. At the same time, the percentage of teachers certified in their assigned field has remained level. In 2004, 89 percent of high school mathematics teachers and 61 percent of middle grades mathematics teachers were state-certified. In science, an average of 85 percent of high school teachers were certified, and 63 percent of middle grades teachers were certified to teach science.

Data for the State Science and Mathematics Education Indicators were provided by the state departments of education and the U.S. Department of Education. Funding support for the 2005 report was received by CCSSO from the National Science Foundation and Texas Instruments, Incorporated.

Click here to order a copy of State Indicators of Science and Mathematics Education.

Project Staff
Rolf Blank, Director of Education Indicators Programs, rolfb@ccsso.org