Using hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) and longitudinal data from the first three waves of the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS:88), we examined achievement and growth rates in precollege science by racial-ethnic and gender subgroups. We found socioeconomic status and previous grades strongly and positively related to students' eighth-grade achievement across all racial-ethnic by gender subgroups. We also found locus-of-control to be strongly related to eighth-grade science achievement for all subgroups except Asian American males. In modeling the growth rate, we found that the quantity of science units completed in high school was the only consistent predictor of science growth rates across all racial-ethnic by gender subgroups. The relationships between individual-level factors and science growth rates differed greatly for the remaining individual-level variables, highlighting the need for further research that both disaggregates data by race-ethnicity and gender.
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