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Science "Left Behind" in American Schools

One Nation Left Behind

You may have seen the recent commercials showing a child raising flags representing America’s standing in school ranking world-wide. I came across an article for the same campaign that shared some striking, but unfortunately not surprising, statistics. According to the “One Nation Left Behind” program, 20 countries outscore the US in science education and 93% of US middle school teachers have little or no science training.

As standardized testing becomes key in schools nation-wide, the decline in science education becomes widely apparent. The Strong American Schools Website offers more staggering statistics and eye-opening quizzes that help drive home the point that our children are not receiving enough science education. Check it out and be prepared for some shocking results.

However, the One Nation Left Behind campaign is committed to creating awareness about the growing education problem in America… from science, to math, to English.. and offers opportunities to get involved in your community.

4 replies
  1. Chris
    Chris says:

    As a middle school science teacher I whole-heartedly agree that our school issues regarding science and math are in dire need of attention, but I’m always perplexed when the Unites States is compared to certain other countries. Here in the U.S. we strive to educate every individual, and our student population is about as heterogeneous as it gets. It seems obvious to me that comparing our population and system to a more homogenized mass such as Finland or South Korea is not a particularly valid or valuable measurement.

  2. Phobe Boutte
    Phobe Boutte says:

    I am a middle school science teacher – 8th grade to be exact. This is one of the groups that undergoes high stakes standardized testing. We have more sections of students in other disciplines than in science which means larger class ratios per teacher because the other disciplines like math and language arts are deemed ‘important’ when it comes to ‘the test’. As science dept. chairperson I read the stats and look at the data comparing the US to the rest of the world. Our emphasis on education as a whole in the US places less importance on education in general. Science and social studies does fall to the bottom of the food chain of education when it comes to funding and class scheduling. Well, I propose this querry: In order to achieve energy independence as a nation, will our future leaders not need to know what alternative fuel is, does, costs to acquire, etc.? Will they not also need to know where in our country’s boundries its sources are located? Does education in science and social studies have some bearing upon the success of acquisition and use of the alternative fuel sources? This may seem trite, but it is only a very small aspect of the need for competent, complete education of our students in the areas of science and social studies.


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