Wednesday, January 26, 2011

American Students Falling Behind In Science

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) measures trends in academic achievment among American students. Sadly, there latest measurement of American students in the area of science leaves a lot to be desired, and should worry most Americans. It shows that our students are falling behind in science.

NAEP gives three rating to students in science -- basic, proficient and advanced. Suffice it to say that if our science programs were accomplishing their goals, most students should fall into the proficient range (show competency over challenging subject matter at their grade level) and a significant number should fall in the advanced category. That is simply not happening. Here are the percentages at three grade levels that meet the proficiency and advanced levels:

4th grade...............34%
8th grade...............30%
12th grade...............21%

4th grade...............1%
8th grade...............2%
12th grade...............1%

Those are some pretty pathetic numbers. If something is not done about this very quickly, this country will fall far behind many other countries in the area of science and research (and that will certainly not do our economy any good).

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said, "When only one or two percent of children score at the advanced levels on NAEP, the next generation will not be ready to be world-class inventors, doctors and engineers. Our nation's students aren't learning at a rate that will maintain America's role as an international leader in the sciences."

Here in Texas it doesn't look like the teaching of science is going to get better any time soon. The state is in the process of cutting funds for education, laying off teachers, and injecting religion into the science classes. I suspect this is also happening in many other states.

If we really cared about the future of our nation (and its people), we would fully fund our schools and get religion out of science classrooms. Failure to do so is a prescription for failure.

No comments:

Post a Comment

ANONYMOUS COMMENTS WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED. And neither will racist,homophobic, or misogynistic comments. I do not mind if you disagree, but make your case in a decent manner.