NRC: Test science like reading, math

Science learning should be tested just like reading and math, urges a report by the National Research Council .

The report also urges policymakers to craft new assessments for all the STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering, and math — that test students to probe for a deeper understanding of the material, and for states to hold their districts accountable to high standards for those subjects.

What’s tested gets taught.

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  1. dangermom says:

    My daughter just finished 5th grade, and since we live in CA, she took the STAR test, which in 5th grade includes a science section. Since we homeschool, we probably hadn’t covered the exact content that was on the test (even though our own schedule dictated biology, which is the 5th grade focus), but she thought she didn’t have any trouble. Results aren’t in yet.

    Anyway, even though science is on the 5th grade test, I’ve had some teachers tell me that their schools (the lower-performing ones, it seems) dictate to them to just forget about the science section, because math and reading are more important. They just do drill after drill in math and reading and don’t get to the science. I’m not sure why they can’t read about science or do scientific math, but apparently it’s all dictated to the teachers and they can’t do that. The teachers seemed frustrated but resigned.

    So maybe, even if you test on science, that doesn’t guarantee the teaching.