Archive for May 28th, 2010

Florida isn’t alone in science testing woes

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Here is an interesting article about Massachusetts high school students failing required science exams needed for graduation. If I’m reading the story and associated graphic correctly, more students failed science than either math or English, resulting in no diploma. I admit I know nothing about Massachusetts’ science test and requirements, but the story made it sound like passing the science requirement shouldn’t be all that hard:

The state gives science exams in biology, chemistry, physics, and technology/engineering as part of its Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, which was created under the 1993 Education Reform Act. Students can start taking the science exams as freshmen and have to score at least “needs improvement,’’ the second lowest of the four scoring categories, on at least one of the subjects.

And there is the familiar lament that science teachers are hard to come by:

But some educators and school advocates say requiring that students pass a science test for graduation goes too far. Some students, they say, are not adept at the sciences, and some schools struggle to offer rigorous science programs because of difficulty in finding qualified teachers or a lack of modern science labs and other resources.