Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Science for All

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Science for All

Article excerpt

This issue marks our 21st consecutive spring issue devoted to "Science for All." Over these years this annual issue has presented ideas and teaching strategies for helping all learners find success in their science classes. A primary goal has been to provide instructional methods to help narrow persistent academic achievement gaps associated with ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, physical disabilities, limited English-language proficiency, and learning differences.

All students need access to rigorous, high-quality science education to prepare for the demands of work and citizenship in the modern world. But too many young people--disproportionately African American, Latino, Native American, English language learners, and those from low-income families--get an education that falls far short.

Despite some encouraging progress, black and Latino youth continue to underperform compared to their white classmates; in 2013 black and Latino males had the lowest high school graduation rate in all 48 states studied (Schott Foundation 2015). Black students are least likely to be placed in AP courses or gifted and talented educational programs or complete a college degree. At the same time, they are most likely to be suspended or expelled from school, identified for special education, and taught by less-experienced or ineffective teachers (Education Trust-West 2015).

Our schools themselves have become increasingly resegregated: Some inner-city schools now have 100% black and Latino enrollment, while schools in affluent suburbs can be more than 95% white and Asian--a situation that educator, author, and social scientist Jonathan Kozol has called "the shame of the nation" (Kozol 2005). …

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