I have data from last year. I have lots of data, almost all of it from math or language arts. The question that bothers me is this one: Where is my science data? I taught science last year. I attended regular, weekly meetings for science. We planned and executed common instruction. But I collected almost no data.
No one cared. No one demanded that data. My fellow science teachers and I had a fine year and I frankly didn’t and don’t miss the data. You don’t always need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, and I’d say our understanding of how instruction had worked was mostly spot on.
Eduhonesty: That said, I am afraid that the absence of that data reflects an unfortunate narrowing of the curriculum on the part of a school district trying desperately to raise scores on the annual state test. We ought to care about science. We ought to care about social studies. We ought to care about Spanish, art and health. The fight to raise test score numbers has been diminishing schools’ focus on lightly-tested or untested subjects that deserve their place in the sun.
Commentators lately have focused on the lack of urban and financially-disadvantaged students pursuing stem careers. I’d say, given the amount of attention given to science in my disadvantaged middle school last year, I may know part of the reason. English and math simply shoved science aside.