Despite the continued and lazily convenient narrative that our schools are falling apart and our students are all getting horrible educations, test scores in science are improving. Not only are they improving overall but the gap between Latino and black students and their white and Asian peers is narrowing.
Hispanic students made the largest gain, to 137 from 132 (out of 300), while the average score for black students increased to 129 from 126. That might seem small but believe me, it's enormous from a statistical standpoint when you consider that it was a sampling of 122,000 students from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
More interesting are the notes in the report that indicated that students do a better job if they have hands on activities rather than just reading or watching. Those who work in teams showed better and more enduring understandings. Differentiation is key here, folks, especially in today's short attention span society. Students need to be doing things and not listening to lectures for entire blocks at a time.
I'm heartened by this and many other stories I have seen from around the country since the president took office and Arnie Duncan became Secretary of Education. There is no doubt in my mind that their education initiatives are the best this country has seen since the mid point of last century.