Student Group Scores and Score Gaps

Student Group Score Results
Higher eighth-grade TEL scores for several student groups compared to 2014

In comparison to 2014, the previous assessment year, average scores at grade 8 in TEL overall were higher in 2018 for

  • White, Black, and Asian students;
  • female students;
  • students who were eligible for the National School Lunch Program;
  • students whose parents did not finish high school and students whose parents graduated from college;
  • students attending public and public, noncharter schools;
  • students who were not identified as students with disabilities; and
  • students who were not identified as English language learners.

Compared to 2014, average scores in all TEL content areas and practices in 2018 were higher for

Also in 2018, average scores were higher in some TEL content areas and practices for several student groups.

See average scores over time for selected student groups by clicking on the thumbnails below. Use the drop-down menu below to view results for TEL overall or for one of the content areas or practices. Note that results are not available for Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students due to an insufficient sample size.

Scroll down the page to find out how score differences between student groups and percentages of student groups have changed over time.

The detailed charts below for each student group show the trend in average TEL scores beginning in 2014 and the cut scores indicating the lower end of the score range for each NAEP achievement level: NAEP Basic, NAEP Proficient, and NAEP Advanced. Read more about NAEP achievement levels and how they are set. Please note, achievement levels are to be used on a trial basis and should be interpreted and used with caution.

Average scores for eighth-grade students assessed in NAEP technology and engineering literacy (TEL), by selected student groups: 2014 and 2018

Score Gap Results
Significant changes in score gaps among several student groups in TEL overall and across all three content areas and all three practices compared to 2014

In comparison to 2014, there were significant changes in score differences for selected student groups in 2018. For example, in 2018, the average overall TEL score for Asian eighth-grade students was 7 points higher than their White peers. The 7-point score difference between White and Asian students was larger than the less than 1-point non-significant score difference in 2014. The larger score gain in TEL overall from 2014 to 2018 by Asian students contributed to the larger score disparity between these two groups.

In 2018, there were also changes in the White – Asian score differences in one of three content areas—Design and Systems, and in two of three practices—Developing Solutions and Achieving Goals and Communicating and Collaborating—compared to 2014.

There were no significant changes in score gaps among White, Black, and Hispanic eighth-graders in TEL overall or in the content areas and practices. For example, in 2018, the average overall TEL score for White students was 31 points higher than the average score for their Black peers and 24 points higher than the average TEL score for Hispanic students. The 31-point White – Black score difference in 2018 was not significantly different from the 32-point difference in 2014. Similarly, there was no significant change in the 24-point White – Hispanic score gap in 2018 compared to the 22-point difference in 2014.

Use the top drop-down menu to select a content area or practice. Use the bottom drop-down menus to compare the score gaps for selected student groups by race/ethnicity, gender, eligibility for the National School Lunch Program, parental education level, type of school, charter school, school location, region of the country, status as students with disabilities, and status as English language learners.

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Group Population Percentages
Demographic changes in student populations

Compared to the previous assessment year in 2014, the racial/ethnic makeup of eighth-grade students who have taken the NAEP TEL assessment has for the most part remained unchanged; one exception is the percentage of students who identified with two or more races, which was higher in 2018. Select a student group from the drop-down menu to view changes in the percentage distribution for that group over time.

Read more about changes in NAEP’s reporting for racial/ethnic groups.

YearsWhiteBlackHispanicAsianAmerican Indian/​Alaska NativeNative Hawaiian/​Other Pacific IslanderTwo or More Races