Leaving No Child Behind In Science Education - Higher Education

Higher Education News and Jobs

Leaving No Child Behind In Science Education


by Black Issues

Leaving No Child Behind  In Science Education

With the passing of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001 several changes have been implemented that require states, colleges of education, school districts and others to rethink ways to improve teacher certification. One aspect of this legislation is that each public school must have a “highly qualified” teacher in the classroom — one that has, among other requirements, obtained full certification and passed the state teacher licensing exam. The understanding of this definition is paramount at the middle and high school levels where teaching academic subjects become more prevalent. 
With a greater emphasis on accountability, NCLB challenges educators to re-examine how individual students are performing in their subject areas. Therefore, a closer look at the impact of teacher instructional practices in science is needed. More importantly, having highly qualified science teachers in every class is the goal. NCLB has mandated that “a state plan should ensure that all public elementary and secondary school teachers in the state who teach core academic subjects (i.e. science) are highly qualified not later than the end of the 2005-2006 school year.”
The lack of highly qualified science teachers is an issue in general, but unfortunately, for some populations the problem is even worse. For instance, large urban schools are plagued with high numbers of unqualified and poorly prepared teachers. It is not uncommon to place teachers that lack effective instructional practices, as well as a degree in the area in which they teach, in schools with predominantly minority and high-poverty students. Yet, inner-city schools need the most effective teachers and resources if the problem of low student achievement in science among minorities is to be alleviated.
Science, as its own culture, has been for the elite and used as a portal for advanced study, as well as mental training for increasing processing skills and abstract levels of thinking. A lack of exposure to any one of these skills may impede future success in science for any student, particularly minority students. The issue of minority performance in science is more paramount now because of the federal requirement that all states release science results in 2007-2008 for all students.
The “Science Highlights 2000” published by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP, 2000) provides a current picture of student performance in science by racial/ethnic subgroups. According to this report, science performance at the national level is disaggregated into three content areas: earth science, life science and physical science for grades 4, 8 and 12 and based on three ability levels: low, middle and high performance. Upon examination of the most recent high school NAEP data, all percentile scores declined for each ability level, with the middle or 50th percentile decreasing significantly. Accordingly, African American high school students performed the lowest in each science area.
Having highly qualified teachers in the science classroom ensures that all students will have access to meaningful experiences, ultimately increasing students’ abilities.  National organizations such as American Association for the Advancement of Science have written documents that support this thinking of “science for all students” with the emphasis on “all.” In order for students to achieve 100 percent proficiency by 2013-2014, which NCLB requires, there needs to be a closer look at teacher qualification and its effect on student achievement. In addition, the science community must help states produce more highly qualified teachers and subsequently place them in the communities that need them most so that no child is left behind.  
— Dr. Scott Jackson Dantley is an associate professor of chemistry and science education at Bowie State University.

  Lawsuit by Student Whose Rape Charge Got Dismissed Approved

© Copyright 2005 by DiverseEducation.com

Accessibility Is Hallmark of Vargas Presidency Kendall Basham, who graduated in May 2017 from Southeast Missouri State University, always had been an admirer of the university president, Dr. Carlos Vargas-Aburto. To surprise Basham on her birthday, Dylan Kennedy, a senior and vice president of So...
UCLA Course to Examine Race Through Lens of Black Horror Films, Literature Tananarive Due is bringing a highly anticipated Get Out-inspired course to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) this semester. Tananarive Due The “The Sunken Place: Racism, Survival and Black Horror Aesthetic” course is based on di...
Innovative Strategies for HBCUs Proposed at CBC Conference WASHINGTON — A range of solutions and strategies — from the adoption of new business models to one-on-one mentoring from African Americans who’ve attained C-Suite positions — emerged Thursday at the inaugural HBCU “braintrust” of the Congressional Bl...
Brigham Young University Ends Ban on Caffeinated Soda Sales SALT LAKE CITY — Mormon church-owned Brigham Young University ended a six-decade ban Thursday on the sale of caffeinated soft drinks on campus, surprising students by posting a picture of a can of Coca-Cola on Twitter and just two words: “It’s happen...
Semantic Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *