About 22 percent of California‚Äôs eighth-graders tested on a national science test passed, ranking the Golden State among the worst in the nation, according to figures released Thursday.
Scores from the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation‚Äôs Report Card, show that too few students have the skills that could lead to careers in the field, educators said.
Nationally, 31 percent of eighth-graders who were tested scored proficient or advanced. Both the national and state scores improved slightly over scores from two years ago, the last time the test was administered....
Ah, John Y., except for a select number of Catholic schools, many Catholic, some Protestant and perhaps a few Jewish schools won't do any better. It's really the home environment that counts, q.v., Are Private Schools Really Better?. I would add that religious private universities are better, if they aren't infested with Greek social frats. But, that's another story.
It would be interesting to see how so-called "Bible-belt" states fared vs. their more secular counterparts in this survey. I'm hearing a lot of complaints on other blogs that CA's low performance is somehow due to distraction of students by creationists and intelligent design advocates away from "real science". Talk about "shooting the messenger"!
Call me cynical but I think this general failure on the part of our 8th-graders is more likely due simply to the fact that we allow our kids to pack so much fluff in their heads that there's precious room for anything else.
Maybe the ED should try to get the producers and casts of Glee and Jersey Shore to develop scripts where some of the actors get involved in a science project and actually "enjoy" it.
Then science could actually be "cool" again. Like it was back when I was a kid when the space program was in full swing.
I don't see the big deal here. Most of what passes for science is just a bunch of hooey anyway. I think if 78 percent were not learning about evolution and such that's a good start. Now we just need the last 22 to get on board.