December 08, 2005

California Gets an A

The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation has published its report on The State of State Science Standards 2005 and California jointed Virginia, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Indiana, New York, and New Mexico in getting an A grade. Nearly half of the states got D or F. Here are some of the things that group of scientists and educators that issued the report said about California's Science Standards.

On science processes, and on history and philosophy of science, California’s standards vary delightfully from the norm: they are brief, there is no bombast, and they are realistic about the capacities of children for making sense of abstract ideas. Process is stressed where it should be, and in plain and appropriate language. For example: Grade 3: "Repeat observations to improve accuracy, and know that the results of similar scientific observations seldom turn out exactly the same … differentiate evidence from opinion and know that scientists do not rely on conclusions unless they are backed by observations that can be confirmed."
California has produced an exemplary set of standards for school science; there was no question among readers about the “A” grade. Now one must hope that teaching and learning follow apace.

The break down of the grade was as follows:

Points Out of a Possible
Expectations, Purpose, Audience 11.7 12
Organization 9.0 9.0
Science Content and Approach 25.0 27.0
Quality 9.0 9.0
Seriousness 6.0 6.0
Inquiry 3.0 3.0
Evolution 3.0 3.0
Raw Score 66.7 69.0
Final Percentage Score 97 100

This is very good news for those of us in California but as the report says,

Now one must hope that teaching and learning follow apace.

In addition, we here in California must be diligent in see that the forces that have driven science standards down in may other states are not allowed to work against us here. One of the best ways to do this is to work with those throughout the country in bring the national average up and by restoring a respect for science starting with our political leaders at the national level.

Via The Panda's Thumb

Posted by DuaneSmith at December 8, 2005 08:31 PM | Read more on Odds and Ends |

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