Friday, January 28, 2011

SFGate: Children's low science proficiency worries leaders

This from SFGate:

Just 1 out of every 100 U.S. schoolchildren excels at science, while less than a third of their peers reach grade-level proficiency in the subject, according to the Nation's Report Card released Tuesday.

The scores are not nearly good enough given the demand for innovators, inventors and problem solvers required to keep the country on the cutting edge of industry and enterprise, education officials said.

"In a world that is increasingly dependent on science, we are failing to educate our kids in science," said Tom Luce, CEO of the National Math and Science Initiative, a nonprofit that awards grants to improve education. "That's putting them at risk and putting our country at risk," he said in a statement.

Read the full story


  1. Wow! Latino students made up 51% of all science exam test takers in California. I did not realize how heavily Hispanic the public schools were in California.

    California teachers need to learn Spanish, for cultural sensitivity, for the perspective of dealing with a foreign language. Maybe science has nothing to do with Spanish, but if 51% of the students are Latino, Spanish will have everything to do with teaching the kids, whatever the subject.

  2. How about the kids learning English?

  3. Yes, that too, amigo.

  4. It's no wonder given NCLB's all-to-pointed focus on math and reading.

  5. I like testing on math and reading. We can do it nationwide, and on multiple choice exams.

    I'm glad to see nationwide testing of science too. Should we test on more subjects? Who decides what is a national curriculum in social studies or history? There is nothing wrong with using tests in trying to give ourselves a report card. It would be very odd if the US educational system did not try to grade itself for test itself.

  6. California tried for last place in 4th grade science with Arizona, Hawaii, and Missippi. California, at 51% Latino in the population of the science exam test takers represents a student population low in non-Hispanic whites. I dare say Arizona, Hawaii, and Missippi also were low in non-Hispanic whites.

    Were there any states with low levels of non-Hispanic whites who did do well in science?

    Were there any states with high levels of non-Hispanic whites who did almost as poorly as the bottom four?

    California is working with a different population of students compared to the rest of the nation. An achievment gap in science for Latino students is showing up.