Welcome to another edition of “Answering Your ESSA” questions, where we try to get to the bottom of questions from readers about the Every Student Succeeds Act and its implementation. This week’s question comes from an anonymous reader.
Question: How many states have included science testing in their plans, and what states will count science in their accountability system?
Answer: Every state will have to test students in science. The law, like its predecessor, the No Child Left Behind Act, requires states to test students in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school in reading and math. But states also have to test students at least three times in science, once in grade 3 through 5, once in grade 6 through 9, and once in grades 10 through 12.
Those science tests don’t have to be used for accountability purposes, like they do for math and reading. But at least 19 states are choosing to make them part of their school rating systems anyway.
At least 14 states are using science as an indicator of school quality or student success, including Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Vermont.
And at least five are using science tests as a way to gauge schools academically, including Illinois, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, and Oklahoma.
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