This report examines how grade 5 and grade 8 student achievement on the 2009/10 MCA–II science assessment differed by student and school characteristics (gender, eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch, special education status, race/ethnicity, and prior-year academic achievement). The study found that most of the variation in scores was associated with demographic differences among students rather than with differences between schools.
Key findings include:
Student achievement on the MCA–II science assessment differed across demographic subgroups, favoring male students, students not eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, non–special education students, and White students.
After accounting for student characteristics, science achievement tended to be higher in schools with a smaller percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and a larger percentage of White students.
No school characteristics based on teacher composition were related to student science achievement after accounting for other student and school characteristics.