How Does Science Testing Work Under ESSA?
Welcome to another edition of "Answering Your ESSA" questions, where we try to get to the bottom of questions from readers about the Every Student Succeeds Act and its implementation. This week's question comes from an anonymous reader.
Question: How many states have included science testing in their plans, and what states will count science in their accountability system?
Answer: Every state will have to test students in science. The law, like its predecessor, the No Child Left Behind Act, requires states to test students in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school in reading and math. But states also have to test students at least three times in science, once in grade 3 through 5, once in grade 6 through 9, and once in grades 10 through 12.
Those science tests don't have to be used for accountability purposes, like they do for math and reading. But at least 19 states are choosing to make them part of their school rating systems anyway.
At least 14 states are using science as an indicator of school quality or student success, including Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Vermont.
And at least five are using science tests as a way to gauge schools academically, including Illinois, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, and Oklahoma.
Want to see what other readers are wondering? Here are links to past installments of this feature:
Want to learn more about the Every Student Succeeds Act? Here's some useful information:
- Check Out Our Latest Blog Posts on ESSA
- Read an Overview of ESSA
- Sign Up for Our Newsletter on ESSA
- See Key Trends in States' ESSA Plans and Where They Stand
Don't miss another Politics K-12 post. Sign up here to get news alerts in your email inbox.
Follow us on Twitter at @PoliticsK12.