Greg Toppo, USA Today, May 11, 2012
New educational science standards due out Friday give teachers hope that they can turn around U.S. students’ lackluster science performance.
The effort to boost science skills comes one day after the federal government released findings showing that eighth-graders’ science scores were nearly flat from 2009 to 2011.
The scores aren’t the only bad news. Several international comparisons over the past decade have painted a bleak picture. In one, 15-year-olds ranked average among dozens of industrialized nations in science, above the Czech Republic and below Hungary.
Test results from the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress, released today, show that eighth-graders’ knowledge of basic science rose, but only slightly, from 2009 to 2011. The percentage of students rated “at or above proficient” also rose slightly, from 30% to 32%.
[Editor’s Note: The results reveal an average score for white 8th graders of 163, compared to a black average of 129, a Hispanic average of 137, and an Asian average of 161.]