Science Standards Mediocre, Study Finds
Fordham Foundation criticizes focus on ‘discovery learning.’
More than two-thirds of states have science standards that earn a C grade or worse for their quality, in part because they overemphasize “discovery learning,” the idea that students should be encouraged to acquire knowledge through their own investigation and experimentation, a study issued last week concludes.
Too many of those standards—documents that spell out what students are expected to know—also present science in a sprawling, unorganized way that is short of facts and content, according to the report by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation.
Titled “The State of State Science Standards, 2005,” the report is a follow-up to a 2000 analysis conducted by the conservative-leaning Washington-based think tank, which promotes strong academic standards and educational options such as charter schools. During the five years since the previous report, the overall quality of standards remained about the same, with roughly the same number of states, 19, receiving an A or...
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