Statewide Science Scores Disappoint Education Officials
Vermont’s Secretary of Education says she is not satisfied with scores from standardized science tests given last spring.
Overall, 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. All three grades show a decline from 2013 scores. Secretary Rebecca Holcomb worries that instructional time for science may be getting shortchanged by a federal emphasis on language arts and math assessed under the No Child Left Behind law. It does not include science testing.
The biggest challenge posed by the exam seems to be a section that requires students not only to solve problems, but to explain their reasoning. Education officials stress that while the overall scores may be disappointing, some schools—including the White River School in White River Junction where the results were announced Thursday -- are doing very well. As in past years, there is an achievement gap between low-income students and their peers.