U.S. science education is stagnant

The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study for 2007 was released. The bad news is that science achievement among U.S. fourth graders and eight graders was stagnate compared to 1995 results.

Neither U.S. fourth- and eighth-graders showed any detectable change in science achievement in 2007 compared to 1995.

This chart from 2003 shows U.S. eighth-grade students in 9th place compared to other countries. The 2007 chart shows a slip down to 11th place. In 2003, fourth-graders were in 6th place. In 2007, they slipped to 8th place. On the other hand, this page shows that U.S. students were consistently above average, so I guess it’s not all bad news.

The National Science Teachers Association isn’t too happy, though.

Over the last ten years numerous reports have told us how stakeholders can and must work together to increase student achievement in science. In spite of these reports, many districts simply do not value science education.

Science is being eliminated from many K-6 classrooms. Science teachers, especially at the elementary level, need better quality professional development and more classroom materials.

About Brandon Haught

Communications Director for Florida Citizens for Science.
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