NAEP Scores Show Few Budding Scientists
Gains on test limited mostly to ‘basic’ and ‘below basic’ levels.
A broad cross section of elected officials and corporate executives agree: The United States needs to raise the quality of mathematics and science education in its schools. The goal, some say, is not only to boost overall student achievement, but also to cultivate enough top-tier high school graduates capable of pursuing college majors and careers in those subjects to invigorate the nation’s economy.
But accomplishing the second of those objectives could prove especially difficult, judging from the results of the most recent test of American students’ ability in science.
The latest scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, released last month, reveal gains in science achievement at only one of three grade levels tested, the 4th. And those improvements were limited mostly to students scoring at no better than a “basic” skill level, while the scores of higher-achieving students remained stagnant—and even...
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