The DeHavilland Blog

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Science standards not up to snuff

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute has released its assessment of the science standards of 49 states (Iowa not included since it does not have state-level standards). the results:
  • 7 A's
  • 12 B's
  • 8 C's
  • 7 D's
  • 15 F's
This from the New York Times:

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 - Nearly half the states are doing a poor job of setting
high academic standards for science in public schools, according to a new report
that examined science in anticipation of 2007, when states will be required to
administer tests in the subject under President Bush's signature education

The report, released Wednesday by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,
suggests that the focus on reading and math as required subjects for testing
under the federal law, No Child Left Behind, has turned attention away from
science, contributing to a failure of American children to stay competitive in
science with their counterparts abroad.

The report also appears to support concerns raised by a growing number
of university officials and corporate executives, who say that the failure to
produce students well-prepared in science is undermining the country's
production of scientists and engineers and putting the nation's economic future
in jeopardy.

Dozens of academic, corporate and Congressional leaders emerged from a
meeting on competitiveness here on Tuesday to warn that the nation needs to
expand its talent pool in science to stay ahead of countries like China and
India that put vast resources into science education.

"Many states are not yet serious about teaching science," said Michael
Petrilli, vice president for national programs and policy of the institute, a
group that supports education reform. "The first step is to set higher
expectations, and too many states have low or a lack of expectations to respond
to the new global competitiveness."

You can download the report here.


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