Despite pressures to upgrade the teaching and learning of “STEM” subjects (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), state standards for science, although often revised, remain, on average, mediocre—undemanding, lacking crucial science content, and chockablock with pedagogical and sociological irrelevancies. That’s the conclusion of Fordham’s most recent review of state science standards to which I contributed. To be sure, there are outliers: A handful of states have done justice to the importance and economic urgency of real science, to the needs of teachers as well as students. But a dreary low-C average for fifty states reveals their continuing failure to deal satisfactorily with standards for K-12 science.
America's state standards continue to disrespect Darwin's contribution to science.
Photo by Kevan Davis.
There are, of course, multiple reasons for the low marks. Among these, the saddest and least justifiable is what the authors call “Undermining Evolution.”
Evolution science (grown over 150 years far beyond geology and biology) is by no means the whole of natural science. But it...