Students lacking science skills

May 14, 2012

Science is not one of California students’ better subjects, according to results of the “Nation’s Report Card” issued last week. (Orange County Register]

Students from the Golden State ranked 48th among states in the National Assessment of Educational Progress, with about 22 percent scoring passing grades. The national average was similarly low, with only 31 percent passing.

Massachusetts, Montana and North Dakota students tied for first in the proficiency test. Utah, Vermont, Colorado, Minnesota, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Virginia rounded out the top ten.

The test incorporated about 120,000 students nationwide, including 14,000 from California.

About 120,000 U.S. students were tested in the exams administered last school year, including about 14,000 in California out of the state’s 470,000 eighth-graders. Scores were not broken down beyond the state level. In Orange County, fewer than 100 students typically take the test each year.

Orange County Superintendent William Habermehl said that schools in California “just don’t teach enough science. In elementary school, science education is often just an hour a week. Without an increased focus on science, we won’t be able to produce enough scientists and engineers we need to move this country ahead.”


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21 Comments

  1. flytrap says:

    Big Duh hey! It’s about immigrants!! Almost 1/2 of the K-5th grade students are children of immigrants in California, many which can barely speak English. They also lead the pack in dropouts in California. Just check the statistics on the internet. Knowing this, how do you expect someone to come from another country, mostly south of the border, and all of a sudden become a gee-whiz scholar in science??? Not talking about this in regards to California’s poor performance is like ignoring the 800 pound gorilla sitting next to you!!! How come this is never brought up but instead, teacher’s salaries, proposition 13 and raising taxes is the solution to the problems??? Dumb!!!!!!!!

    (11) 15 Total Votes - 13 up - 2 down
  2. The Gimlet Eye says:

    This information comes from NCES (National Center for Educaton Statistics): http://nces.ed.gov/

    It is extremely ironic that CA youngsters would have the poorest grasp of science at possibly any time in the state’s history!

    Can we trust this information? I don’t know the answer to that, but this article seems odd in some respects. Science and technology have never been more critical or more highly developed at any time in human history than right now, right? Therefore, science has never been more dominant in our civilization than at this time.

    In earlier historic ages, we did not have enough science. In those days, knowledge was dominated by the humanities, i.e., theology, law, and philosophy. The advancement of science suffered at the hands of intolerent people in power who saw such advancement as a threat to them and their control over the social order. Science eventually overcame such prejudice and intimidation and went on to benefit mankind in a thousand ways.

    But now the pendulum has swung back too far the other way, and we have too much science, and those in the humanities see it as a threat to the social order, WHICH IT IS! Science has become so successful that it is used not only to study and manipulate nature, but human activity as well. That is not good. Think THX1138.

    Rather than fret about these kids’ lack of “science” skills, maybe we should think about something much more basic: their ability to think, period.

    (-6) 14 Total Votes - 4 up - 10 down
  3. Jorge Estrada says:

    So I guess is safe to say that the go GREEN STATE is all about milking $GREEN MILK$, certainly not an exact science.

    (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
  4. The Gimlet Eye says:

    Ultimately, the problem involves a general dumbing down that it DELIBERATE. Check this out:

    http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/pages/author.htm

    (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
  5. SewerHeightsRez says:

    This is very old news but great for kids like mine who got degrees in engineering and science and then high paying jobs, even in this crappy economy.

    The K-12 educational system in this state is completely broken and has been for many, many years. If you have not recognized this fact and taken personal action to protect your kids then you deserve the bad outcomes you have undoubtedly experienced.

    (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down
  6. rogerfreberg says:

    Oh, we can all justifiably complain. I don’t think you have to look to far when 1) teachers teach more politics than their subject matter, don’t teach but use class time for students to do HOME work…. and the text books are a joke, they are empty, dumb downed and inadequate.

    Not everyone has the ability to home school their children… but there is the internet (MIT has free courses on line) and one can buy old textbooks ( math and English haven’t changed all that much in 50 years) and this will help your children along. Organize with other interested parents… one can help with math and others can help once a week with the skills they have. School nowadays is something we all have to ‘put up with’ to some extent… fight the battle at the school, but ensure your children are getting the education they need to compete in an ever increasingly competitive future. Take your children’s education into your own hands and motivate them to be all they can be.

    Years ago, I joked that I had a dream… a dream that my children won’t live with me forever! They are making their own life and this is very cool, but this isn’t reality for many parents. So, invest the time in your kids, help them get the skills they need to achieve… and maybe , just maybe they won’t be the roughly 90% of the graduating college seniors who plan to move back home after graduation.

    Moving home isn’t good for any body.

    (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down
  7. racket says:

    I am sure this is a conservative plot to create a class of non believers in global warming.

    (-8) 14 Total Votes - 3 up - 11 down
    • racket says:

      Or, maybe it’s a liberal plot to create a class of easily duped alarmists to support the global warming agenda.

      (10) 16 Total Votes - 13 up - 3 down
      • r0y says:

        Considering that my 7th grader at Laguna Middle School just this year was shown Al Gore’s movie in his science class tells me a lot…

        (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
        • The Gimlet Eye says:

          I would classify that as deliberate dumbing down (see above).

          (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
        • Maxfusion says:

          Particularly when the U.K. scrubbed 22 minutes of it as factually inaccurate before they would allow students to view it. The school in Scotland where my grandchildren attend labeled it a docudrama, and won’t allow it to be shown. Even worse are the books by Laurie David, a member of the Goreleoni Crime Family.

          (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  8. pasoparent5 says:

    My kids’ K-5 science lessons consisted of filling out various boring work sheets, coloring some activity pages and planting a seed in kindergarten. They had almost ZERO hands-on activities in the classroom. 35 kids + 1 teacher + total focus on getting read for state testing= no time for science, art, music or any other so-called “extras.” [
    Nowadays, if parents have kids in CA’s public schools, they MUST supplement their kids’ educations w/ library visits, at-home science activities, music lessons, museum trips, etc. or their kids will be very poorly educated compared to kids in other US states and countries of the world. Sadly, CA’s public schools just aren’t what they used to be.

    (11) 11 Total Votes - 11 up - 0 down
    • bobfromsanluis says:

      So the answer must be to cut education spending even more, right? Prop 13 and No Child Left Behind is the double whammy that has cut the heart out of public education; no, I am not suggesting Prop 13 be repealed, but a “fine tuning” that would eliminate some legacy property owners from any increases should be addressed, as well as dictating that school administrations be required to cut an equal amount as is cut from any other part of education spending. NCLB needs to be abandoned with all due haste and put the focus back on learning, not regurgitating answers for a test. Including funding for the arts and sciences would also be a great step towards giving our school age children an education that gives them the best chance to succeed whether they decide to go to college, or not.

      (-10) 12 Total Votes - 1 up - 11 down
      • r0y says:

        I’ve never, EVER heard of a government-funded program that claims to have had adequate funding. Ever.

        Have you? Name ANY bureaucrat that thinks they are NOT underfunded nor over-worked. I’d like to drop them in the private sector for a day…

        (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
  9. WiseGuy says:

    They are also lacking in music and art skills and a decent education about human values such as honestly and integrity.

    (3) 13 Total Votes - 8 up - 5 down
    • danika says:

      I find the majority of young people today lack basic respect. I am frequently appalled by the disrespectful actions and words by our youth. They give no concern to what they say or to whom they say it to. They have few boundaries or respect for the property of others. There are exceptions to this observation, of course, but precious few. I fret over how our society will be when these young people come into their own in society.

      (12) 14 Total Votes - 13 up - 1 down
      • Hiram Schlicklgruber says:

        If you find the majority lack basic respect, you need to volunteer more. Go to your local FFA, church/synagogue/mosque, sports team, school, etc. MOST I see are very respectful. The 10% rule applies as much today as it did in previous generations. 10% sag, are loudmouths, cuss in public, have obnoxious piercings/tattoos, use drugs, steal, tag, etc. MOST do not do this, but they DO watch adults steal, whine about everything but fail to volunteer, avoid taxes, cheat on their taxes, rake it in on their huge salaries and forget to trickle-down. I would much rather hang out with any kids(even the 10%) than hang out with the average adult. What is wrong with parents these days!!!

        (-2) 6 Total Votes - 2 up - 4 down
        • pasoparent5 says:

          Sadly I disagree, Hiram. We have kids in school at every age level–K through high school. We DO volunteer w/many activities and from what we’ve seen,your 10% statistic is more like 60%. Sure, not all kids are pierced and tatted up but sadly many are rude, disrespectful, dishonest, cynical, lazy and an all-around pain in the a@@.

          The 10% rule you refer to really describes the amount of involved parents nowadays. It’s the same group of parent volunteers in the classroom, on the little league fields, in church activities, on soccer fields, doing behind-the-scenes work, etc… 10% DO help but 90% do not.

          (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
          • Hiram Schlicklgruber says:

            Well, since we are both making up statistics, we will have to disagree with our interpretations of today’s youth. Tattoed and pierced kids might be scary!!!!!! but not necessarily disrespectful.

            (-8) 10 Total Votes - 1 up - 9 down
    • Black_Copter_Pilot says:

      Seems like honesty and integrity should be taught at home, unlees the ACLU looks the other way and allows the Ten Commandments to be used as a teaching took. Fat chance.

      Society can’t have it both ways.

      Paso schools are celebrating the state findings by having a furlough day!

      More dumbing down, sponsered by the scool district

      (10) 10 Total Votes - 10 up - 0 down

Comments are closed.