Sunday, May 28, 2006

As science funding increases, literacy decreases

The New York Times reported on the results of the 2005 National and State Science Assessment study. Scores for 12th graders, the study shows, fell from 57 percent getting a basic or higher proficiency score in 1996 to 54 percent in 2005.

This is consistent with the scientific literacy trend data published by the National Science Foundation for the general U.S. population.

All of these findings further support the notion that current models of public science education have only limited success. While science funding has steadily increased over time (with a fixed Congressionally-mandated percentage for some funding areas being devoted to ELSI issues), literacy is declining or at least not increasing at the rate that could be expected.


Matthew C. Nisbet said...

Decreasing? Or only slight variation due to sampling error, and the fact that the NSB science literacy surveys have been administered by three different survey firms since 1999.

I read the findings as no change over decades, despite an increase of the number of Americans with college degrees.