Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Education

Are States Ready to Be Evaluated in Science?

By Hajime Mitani — May 12, 2010 2 min read

The federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) currently requires states to measure students’ progress in reading and mathematics. Based on their results, low-performing schools or districts may face sanctions. Beginning in the 2007-08 school year, science performance also will be gauged under NCLB, with states being directed to test students at least once in each of three grade spans (grades 3-5, grades 6-9, and grades 10-12) each year. *

But Junlei Li, in a 2006 Education Week Commentary, questions states’ readiness when it comes to science standards and science assessments. (“Not Ready for Science Tests,” April 26, 2006.) This concern is echoed in the report “The State of State Science Standards,” released by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute in 2005. The report assigns 15 states failing grades and 16 states a letter grade of C or D for the content of their science standards. This Stat of the Week looks at where states currently stand in terms of the age of their science content standards and the alignment of their science assessments to those standards.

Accountability pressures have led some state officials to revisit their standards documents. (“As States Feel Pressed to Revisit Standards, Calls Are Being Renewed to Tighten Them,” Oct. 18, 2006.) The EPE Research Center examined the dates when states last updated their science content standards. It was reported in Quality Counts 2007 that only a handful of states (Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Tennessee) recently updated their science standards. Almost half of the states had science standards that were more than two years old, that is, updated prior to the 2004-05 school year. Seven of those had standards dating from the 1990’s, with the oldest science standards being in Delaware (1994-95), Florida, and New York (both from 1995-96).

Also, at the time of the EPE 2006 annual state policy survey, many states still did not have science assessments that were aligned to their state science standards at every school level (i.e. elementary, middle, and high school.) Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, 25 states had science assessments aligned to state science standards at all levels. Ten states had science assessments for one or two school levels, and 16 states did not have science assessments aligned to their state standards.

For more information about state science standards and assessment, go to Education Counts.

* It is still being debated whether science assessment results should be included to calculate adequate yearly progress (AYP).

Most Recent Year that States Updated Science Standards

SOURCE: EPE Research Center 2006 annual state policy survey

0511sow c1s

Science Assessments Aligned to State Standards

SOURCE: EPE Research Center 2006 annual state policy survey

0511sow m1s

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Learn directly from the pros why K-12 branding and marketing matters, and how to do it effectively.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Director of Information Technology
Montpelier, Vermont
Washington Central UUSD
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools
Director of Athletics
Farmington, Connecticut
Farmington Public Schools
Head of Lower School
San Diego, California
San Diego Jewish Academy

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read