From USA Today:
New educational science standards due out Friday give teachers hope that they can turn around U.S. students’ lackluster science performance.
The effort to boost science skills comes one day after the federal government released findings showing that eighth-graders’ science scores were nearly flat from 2009 to 2011.
The scores aren’t the only bad news. Several international comparisons over the past decade have painted a bleak picture. In one, 15-year-olds ranked average among dozens of industrialized nations in science, above the Czech Republic and below Hungary.
“Science has been pushed into the background, especially in elementary school,” said Gerry Wheeler, who heads the National Science Teachers Association, one of four groups developing the standards along with the National Research Council, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the school standards group Achieve.
Written by science teachers, scientists, engineers, state policy staffers and business leaders, a draft of the standards has been adopted by 26 states. Wheeler and others hope educators in all 50 states adopt the standards, then develop assessments that push teachers to take a more comprehensive approach to science.