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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida students still struggle with science



science_ed.jpgFlorida students continue to struggle with basic scientific knowledge - and are at best average compared to their peers across the country, according to the latest national test results released this morning.

The results were not unexpected: Florida science scores weren’t so hot in the past, either. But this time they’re sparking calls for an aggressive effort to put a spotlight on science education and its ties to Florida’s economic future.

“We’re bringing in all these fancy biotech companies and we’re importing these scientists and we’re training our students to make the beds for them,” Paul Cottle, a Florida State University physicist who writes a blog on science education, told The Gradebook. “Nobody’s really taking this up. That’s the problem.”

Thirty-one percent of Florida fourth graders are proficient in science, according to results from the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress, often called “the nation’s report card.” That puts them at No. 31 among the 46 states that participated. Meanwhile, 23 percent of Florida’s eighth graders reached that bar, putting them at No. 36.

Read more here.

(Photo from

[Last modified: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 12:05pm]


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