State News Roundup
Thirteen-year-old Colorado students perform as well in mathematics and science as their peers in 19 foreign countries, the results of the most recent international assessment of student performance in math and science suggest.
The comparison of a students' scores in a single state with those of foreign students on the second International Assessment of Educational Progress is unusual because, while students in individual districts across the United States took the test, only in Colorado did students participate statewide.
Roughly 8,900 of the state's 9-year-old public-school students and 6,600 of its 13-year-olds took the test in March 1991.
While all of the 20 participating countries administered the test to 13-year-olds, only 14 tested 9-year-olds.
The test results, released by the state education department last week, indicate that, over all, 13-year-olds answered an average of 58 percent of the math questions correctly, while the average for Colorado teenagers was 57 percent correct. The U.S. average was 55 percent.
On the science test, meanwhile, 13-year-olds over all answered an average of 67 percent of the questions correctly, compared with the Colorado average of 70 percent. The U.S. average was also 67 percent.
Among Colorado students, males in the 13-year-old cohort scored higher than did females in both math and science.
Average scores among Colorado students generally were much lower for Native American, African-American, and Hispanic students as well as for students who attended schools in the inner city.
A State Superior Court judge in San Francisco last month struck down a California law that would have required unmarried teenagers to obtain the consent of a parent or judge before having an abortion.
The law, which was adopted in 1987 but never enforced due to court appeals, applied to girls under the age of 18. Under the law, the teenager needed to gain the consent of at least one parent to obtain an abortion, or to convince a judge that she was mature enough to make the decision on her own.
Similar statutes have been upheld in other states.