COLUMBIA (WACH) - South Carolina ranks among the nation's leaders in science education standards according to a new report issued by The Fordham Institute.
The report, The State of State Science Standards 2012, gave each state a report card based on two main factors regarding science education standards; content & rigor and clarity & specificity.
South Carolina received six out of seven points for content and rigor, and a perfect three out of three points for clarity and specificity. The combined score of nine out of 10 points gave South Carolina an A- grade.
Only three other states received an A-, and California was the only state to receive an A.
The report states, "South Carolina provides science standards that are clear and succinct, but that also outline most of the essential K-12 content that students need to learn."
The state's standards were praised in many areas for building concepts from one grade level to the next from kindergarten through high school; however, high school chemistry was said to "often lack the detail and clarity of the best state standards."
In life science, one of the sections reviewed within the content and rigor category, the report notes, â??the coverage of evolution is occasionally evasive.â?? While evolution is â??treated excellentlyâ?? at the high school level, eighth-grade standards raise concepts of evolution without even using the term.
The report concludes that "South Carolina has produced a set of workmanlike standards of consistent, high quality. Most disciplines cover all of the essential content with admirable thoroughness and attention to detail. Concepts develop over the advancing grades with clear and logical progression. This laudably systematic treatment reveals a firm scaffold upon which educators in the Palmetto State can build a science curriculum."
To read the full report, including the methods, criteria and grading metric, click here.