The first-ever analysis of how states define proficiency on their science tests finds that states have radically different targets for what their 8th graders should know and be able to do. At a time when the demand for robust skills and knowledge in science has gone global, “proficiency” may have more to do with where you live than what you have learned. This hodgepodge undercuts a major reason why we have tests in the first place: to provide reliable information on how well we’re preparing students for the challenges of the global economy.
This research brief reviews the findings and implications of our analysis. It is the first in a series of briefs from Change the Equation’s State Vital Signs initiative, which examines the condition of STEM learning in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Download the Brief (PDF)