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On the Academic Performance of Hawaii's Public School Children: I.Fourth and Eighth Grade Mathematics in 1992 NAEP

Saka, Thomas; Wainer, Howard
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Academic Achievement, Grade 4, Grade 8, Hawaii, Mathematics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Performance Assessment, Test Results


This report presents the performance of Hawaii's public school 4th and 8th graders on the mathematics section of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The resultant data are both comparative and absolute. The comparisons are made within the state by 1) race/ethnicity, 2) type of community, and 3) limited English proficiency; and with the 41 other states in the assessment; with the national as a whole; and with the performance of 13-year-olds in the other countries participating the International Assessment of Educational Progress (IAEP). As an absolute measure, specific score levels have been shown to constitute specific proficiencies, denoted as Basic, Proficient and Advanced. What is required to perform at each of these levels obviously increases as the student progresses through school, but are always referred back to the five NAEP content areas: 1) numbers and operations; 2) measurement; 3) geometry; 4) data analysis, statistics, and probability; and 5) algebra and functions. Also, through the use of linking items and item response theory, all students participating in the assessment can be placed on the same numerical scale, so subtracting 4th grade scores from 8th grade scores gives the growth obtained during those years. General conclusions include: 1) Hawaii was one of the lowest performing states; 2) the U.S. was one of the lowest performing countries of the 14 participating nations; 3) within Hawaii there were enormous differences in performance by ethnic group, the highest scoring groups (Chinese, Korean and Japanese) scoring as well as any OECD country, the lowest scoring groups, worse than any OECD country; and 4) the top 5% of Hawaiian students ranked 8th compared with the performance of the top 5% of all other OECD nations. This report explicitly avoids any discussion of possible reasons for the results reported. Subsequent reports will begin to examine plausible causal variables. (JGL) (24pp.)

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