International Science Benchmarking Report: Taking the Lead in Science Education-Forging Next-Generation Science StandardsReport as inadecuate




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U.S. students have consistently lagged behind their peers in other nations on international science assessments--a performance increasingly at odds with the challenge of being able to live and compete in a global environment, powered by innovations in science, engineering and technology. A strong foundation in science is clearly critical if today's students are to have the option of pursuing careers in STEM-related fields where employment opportunities are expanding. But the ability to compete in a world economy is not the only issue. More than ever, participating as an informed citizen in a democracy, and making personal decisions, requires the ability to digest current events and make judgments based upon scientific evidence. National efforts in science education are focusing on two key issues: scientific literacy for all students and STEM preparedness to increase the STEM pipeline. From a standards and learning progression perspective, these issues exist on a continuum and are not mutually exclusive. A sound foundation to scientific literacy allows students to pursue Upper Secondary and postsecondary options based on their interests and occupational goals. Leaders have called for U.S. standards to be internationally benchmarked--reflective of the expectations that other leading nations have set for their students. To that end, Achieve examined 10 sets of international standards with the intent of informing the development of both the conceptual framework and new U.S. science standards. Achieve selected countries based on their strong performance on international assessments and/or their economic, political, or cultural importance to the United States. Achieve's analysis has both a quantitative and qualitative component. The quantitative analysis identifies the specific content and performance expectations the ten high-performing countries have established for each science discipline for Primary through Lower Secondary and for Upper Secondary (subject-specific courses). The qualitative examination complements the quantitative analysis by identifying noteworthy practices and weaknesses among the countries' standards. (Contains 15 tables, 6 figures, 3 charts, and 62 footnotes.)

Descriptors: Science Education, Employment Opportunities, Current Events, Democracy, Scientific Literacy, Academic Standards, Science Tests, Science Careers, Career Readiness, STEM Education, Qualitative Research, Statistical Analysis, Elementary Secondary Education, Benchmarking, Comparative Analysis, National Competency Tests, Skill Development

Achieve, Inc. 1775 Eye Street NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-419-1540; Fax: 202-828-0911; Web site: http://www.achieve.org









Author: Achieve, Inc.

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=1737&id=ED540445



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