Council: Include Science in Standardized Tests
The Council emphasized that, where such programs exist, science must be included. The statement points out the importance of good science education, and goes on to say that "assessment influences what is taught, both in terms of hours spent and in the nature of classroom activity." The Council statement also stresses that any testing or assessment should be designed to motivate teaching methods that present science as more than a body of facts.
"Like it or not, mandated tests are a growing part of the educational picture in this country " said Helen Quinn of Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, a member of Council who played a key role in drafting the statement. "Many teachers have told me that they are expected and even required by their districts to focus much of their teaching on preparation for these tests. If we want any science taught at all in the elementary and middle grades then we must argue for the inclusion of science in the mandates. Further we must work towards a system of assessment such that test preparation and good science education become synonymous."
The complete text of the statement follows:
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