While the No Child Left Behind Act emphasized reading and math by requiring those subjects to be tested every year from grade 3 to grade 8 and once in high school, science was at least given the consolation prize of having required tests once in each of elementary, middle and high school. That’s why Florida tests its students on science in grades 5 and 8, and why Florida requires an end-of-course exam for high school biology. Without the federal mandate on science testing, it’s likely that those science tests would go pfffftttt, and that science would lose much of whatever punch it has in Florida’s K-12 schools.
But the federal mandate on science testing may evaporate in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (the last incarnation of which was the No Child Left Behind Act).
Curriculum Matters reports that chair of the Education Committee of the US House of Representatives, John Kline of Minnesota, has drafted legislation that would drop the federal science mandate. Opposition has begun to coalesce.