Eighth-grade girls outscored boys in technology and engineering skills during the first such national test administered by the U.S. federal government in 2014, according to results released on Tuesday.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exam results show that 45% of girls and 42% of boys scored at the proficient level or above. Overall, 43% of eighth-grade students in both public and private schools scored proficient or above.
The results showed racial gaps, with just 18% of black students and 28% of Hispanic students achieving proficient or better scores, compared to 56% of Asian and white students. English language learners also struggled with the assessment, with only 5% scoring proficient or above.
The computer-based test, called the Technology & Engineering Literacy (TEL), was designed to measure students’ ability to understand technological principles, their collaboration skills, and their ability to solve technology and engineering-related problems. It was administered to more than 21,000 students in more than 800 schools nationwide.