NC gets D grade from group for science education
Posted January 31, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina's science education standards for elementary, middle and high schools rate only a D, according to a report released Tuesday.
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a nonprofit education policy think tank, criticized the state's standards for science, saying they include a crippling lack of detail and "poorly developed, confusing or misleading" content.
Experts from the Fordham Institute evaluated science standards from every state for their content, rigor, clarity and specificity. The group didn't grade on a curve, handing out 17 Ds and 10 Fs. Only six states received an A or A-.
"If America is to remain a prosperous, scientifically-advanced and economically competitive nation, then we must ensure that every school is teaching science to a very high standard," Chester Finn Jr., Fordham's president, said in a statement. "If our expectations are low and unclear, we're guaranteeing the failure of our students and the weakening of our nation."
Science standards are the foundation upon which a state's system of assessment, instruction and accountability rests, the group said. The report didn't address whether science standards are being properly assessed with state tests, effectively implemented in the schools or if they are driving improvements in student achievement.