Monday, February 14, 2011

Less than half of students proficient in science

Dr. Sharon Haynie is the first black female chemisty Ph.D
from M.I.T. who shared with the students at the Franklin Institute 

After spending the weekend at the Franklin Institute with some of the top black scientist in the country, I can’t help but to wonder what it will take to get more kids excited about science.
Exposing kids to science is the first step. Just as no Chester kids attended the Dr. Ben Carson chat at Widener, no Chester kids were among the 200 kids participating this weekend at the Franklin Institute. 
I can’t wait to hear the excuses.
Here are excerpts from a recent article describing how far behind our students are in the sciences.
Very few students have the advanced skills that could lead to careers in science and technology, according to results of a national exam released Tuesday that education leaders called alarming.

Only 1 percent of fourth-grade and 12th-grade students, and 2 percent of eighth-graders scored in the highest group on the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress, a federal test known as the Nation's Report Card. Less than half were considered proficient, with many more showing minimal science knowledge.
The results also show a stark achievement gap, with only 10 percent of black students proficient in science in the fourth grade, compared to 46 percent of whites. At the high school level, results were even more bleak, with 71 percent of black students scoring below the basic knowledge level, and just 4 percent proficient.
"Our ability to create the next generation of U.S. leaders in science and technology is seriously in danger," said Alan Friedman, former director of the New York Hall of Science, and a member of the board that oversees the test.
Friedman said one unintended side effect of the No Child Left Behind law has been less emphasis on science, history, arts and other subjects in order to emphasize performance in math and reading.

Wilkins was skeptical of that explanation, noting that strong reading and math skills are the underpinnings for a strong science education as well. 
Schools that are doing well in reading and math are also doing well in science, she said.
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1 comment:

  1. I have found being a teacher here in Chester that students do not attend things out of school because their parents will not take them. Unless the school provides transportation Chester students will not get there, at least in the lower grades. As a teacher I cannot take the risk of transporting students to these events. It is sad that Dr. Carson was in walking distance and still no Chester students attended. At my school we are making strides in science. A lot of the time students struggle because parents stop being parents and will not even attend a report card meeting. There is only so much teachers can do in an 6-8 hours a day with students. When children come to school for the first time with no skills they are already at risk. Parents need to read to children, engage them in conversation, and treat them as valuable people rather than something that can be traded in for a newer one....