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Challenges for Middle School Science

Here's an interesting article about the problems with Science education in American schools: MSNBC - Stirring Up Science

Some of the main challenges mentioned have to do with money and teacher training/education.

Wow, according to the article, No Child Left Behind will only test students on science every four years, starting with 4th grade. This compares to annual tests for Math and Literacy. To me, this seems like a recipe for disaster. When the schools are teaching to the test, and the test is only every four years, when are average students going to get good experiences with science. I can just imagine those young minds burning out, after the great cram session for the test. Yes, some rote memorization is required for success in science, but how will this plan leave room for anything else? Where are the hands-on experiences? Science is an active pursuit, not an encyclopedia to be copied and turned in as a report or memorized.