LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan eight-graders have scored significantly better on a national science test in 2011 than in 2009, beating the national average.
The National Assessment of Education Progress released the results Thursday. Only three states had larger gains.
Michigan eighth-graders have improved their science scores enough to move the state's ranking from ranking 23rd in 2009 to a tie for 16th best.
But racial discrepancies remain. Eighty percent of white students score at a basic proficiency level or above, compared with 60 percent of Hispanic students and 31 percent of black students.
Low-income students also do worse on the test than their more affluent peers.
About five years ago, Michigan adopted tougher science standards more aligned to the national test. That could be helping scores rise.