Elementary kids get science grades, but no science

Science instruction is vanishing from elementary schools in Kansas and nearby states, according to a report to the Kansas Board of Education. As many as one in five elementary teachers puts science grades on report cards, but doesn’t teach the subject.

George Griffith, superintendent of a western Kansas district and a member of a committee writing new science standards, surveyed more than 900 elementary teachers in Kansas, Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska.

Griffith said teachers responding to the survey said they reported grades in science because there was a spot on the grade card for it. But the teachers felt so pressured to increase performance in the high-stakes reading and math tests that they have cut back or eliminated class time for science.

More than 55 percent of K-6 teachers have decreased science education by 30 minutes to an hour per week, Griffith said.

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