A new review offers a “bleak picture” of the state of state science standards across the nation, with just over half earning a grade of D or F.
Only California and the District of Columbia were given a solid A, while four states were handed an A-minus, according to the review by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a Washington-based think tank.
The Fordham report, issued last week, focuses on two main areas: “content and rigor,” and “clarity and specificity.” It argues, for instance, that many states’ standards are “so vague as to be meaningless.” The review also contends that state standards often undermine the teaching of evolution.
The review is the third Fordham has produced on science standards; the last came in 2005.
“The results of this rigorous analysis paint a fresh—but still bleak—picture,” wrote institute President Chester E. Finn Jr., a former education official in the Reagan administration, and senior director Kathleen Porter-Magee, in a foreword to the report. “A majority of the states’ standards remain mediocre to awful. In fact, the average grade across all states is—once again—a thoroughly undistinguished C.” (Read more.)