The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act requires states to measure the adequate yearly progress (AYP) of each public school and local educational agency (LEA) and to hold schools and LEAs accountable for failing to make AYP. Although it is required that science be assessed in at least three grades, the achievement results from science examinations are not required to be used when calculating AYP. A history of attempts to include science into AYP calculations and the role of science education within state accountability programs is provided here. An examination of National Assessment of Educational Progress science achievement data revealed that those states that opted to make schools accountable for students' science achievement had significantly higher fourth-grade mean scale scores when compared to states that did not include science in this manner. However, a significant difference was not found between these groups of states when analyzing eighth-grade data. Specific recommendations are provided to include science into accountability programs and to ameliorate existing requirements of NCLB.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- History and Philosophy of Science