New standards may explain dip in Nebraska schools’ science scores

Nebraska officials are taking steps to improve the state’s education testing scores, starting by adopting new, more rigorous standards.
    About 68 percent of Nebraska public school students tested as proficient in science last spring, down 2 percentage points from 2016-17 and 4-percentage points from 2015-16, the Omaha World-Herald reported. The scores were taken from fifth, eighth and 11th grades.
    The state is moving to a new science test to reflect changing standards that come with the Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System.
    The current test is measuring students’ proficiency against old standards set in 2010, not the new standards the state Board of Education approved last year.
    High school students are also taking the ACT exam for the 11th-grade assessment, which may also be more rigorous.
    The temporary disparity between the standards and the test could be a factor in the drop, said Nebraska Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt.

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