Kelleher's Korner: Figuring Out Science

Former Catalyst writer Maureen Kelleher sends in this follow-up on the lamentable science scores that came in earlier this week:

"There's more to fixing the science problem than the Mayor admits. While high school science labs have been undergoing a slow but steady overhaul since the Vallas years, it's a lucky elementary school that has any lab space, let alone running water and gas for serious experiments. Usually, science is considered a "special," like art or music or library. An elementary science teacher may see all 500 students in the course of a week. And schools may not offer all these specials, based on the personnel they have.

"Though regular teachers try to carve out space for science, with district time mandates for literacy and math, they're lucky to squeeze in much of any science (or social studies, which is even more forgotten.)

"The Tribune story quotes Barbara Eason-Watkins saying that as reading scores improve, the district will have more ability to put money behind science. Yet Eason-Watkins has also stressed the need to promote more nonfiction reading among elementary students. Couldn't science be a part of that?"

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