The AP (9/26, Rathke) reports that Vermont Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe announced on Thursday that “average science test scores of students in three grades have dropped slightly in Vermont from last year, with the greatest dip among eight-graders.” The article adds that Holcomb said that stagnant science scores suggest “that an emphasis on English language arts and math in the federal No Child Left Behind Act may be overshadowing science instruction.”
Vermont Public Radio (9/26) reports that Holcombe “says she is not satisfied with scores from standardized science tests given last spring.” The piece notes that “44 percent of fourth graders scored as proficient or higher, but only 25 percent of eighth graders and 30 percent of eleventh graders reached that mark.” Scores across all grades showed a decline. The piece notes that “a section that requires students not only to solve problems, but to explain their reasoning,” seems to be the part that gave students the most trouble.
WCAX-TV Burlington, VT (9/26) quotes Holcombe saying, “We’re concerned about the heavy emphasis on No Child Left Behind and whether it might be discouraging some districts from really investing in science from the earliest grades.”
The Rutland (VT) Herald (9/26) also covers this story.
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