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A Class of 51

The Fordham Institute recently released their assessment of state science standards with a handy color-coded map—and California was the only state to receive a solid “A,” along with the District of Columbia. On Pharyngula, PZ Myers wonders how his state will ever get into college with a lowly “C.” He writes, “The Institute does a fairly thorough breakdown, so there are some bright spots: Minnesota is doing a good job in the life sciences, but where we got dinged hard was on the physical sciences, which are ‘illogically organized’ and contain factual errors.” But at least Minnesota wasn’t one of the twenty-seven states to get a “D” or an “F.” Greg Laden repaints the Institute’s map with only two colors, making a “Pass/Fail” version of the assessment. At first glance the blocks of red and blue look electoral, but much of the South is blue with passing grades, while Oregon and half of New England are red for failure. Obviously, the quality of education depends on complexities far exceeding geographical and political alignment. Greg Laden writes, “It is an interesting report to browse through, and you can get your PDF copy of it here for free! Also, have a look at this overview from the NCSE. How did your state do?”

Comments

  1. #1 Bob Sun
    February 16, 2012

    This is another example of judging outcomes by measuring inputs. California is doing a great job because they have the best standards??? When I see studies like this one published the first thing that comes to mind is how this activity was funded and how much it cost. Here is a partial answer

    http://www.edexcellence.net/about-us/funding-and-finances.html

  2. #2 Jason
    February 16, 2012

    Bob Sun makes a good point about judging outcomes by measuring inputs. (I don’t think the Fordham Institute’s funders are particularly relevant, though.) California may have great standards (according to the report) but does this matter if there is no support for implementation?

    Dear College Admissions Board,
    Please disregard my SAT scores and instead reference the California standards for math and language. As you will see, I was supposed to learn all of that stuff. So, you can rest assured that I am prepared to enter your school.
    Sincerely,
    Applicant

  3. #3 Bob Sun
    February 16, 2012

    @Jason
    My reason to list them was to reflect my personal curiosity as to who was conned into supporting this kind of stuff. I remain curious as to how much money they were able to extract.

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