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Higher Levels of Parental Education Associated with Higher Student Performance

  • In 2005, students at grades 8 and 12 who indicated neither parent graduated from high school scored lower, on average, than students whose parents had higher levels of education. Students whose parents graduated from college scored higher, on average, than students whose parents did not.
Eighth-grade average NAEP science scores, by student-reported highest level of education of either parent

Average scale scores in science, by student-reported highest level of education of either parent, grade 8: 2005

NOTE: View complete data with standard errors for grade 8.

Parents' highest level of education is defined by the highest level reported by eighth-graders and twelfth-graders for either parent. Fourth-graders' replies to this question were not reported because their responses in previous studies were highly variable, and a large percentage of them chose the "I don't know" option. Learn more about the NAEP reporting groups on the NAEP website.

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