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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Massachusetts Garners High Marks on International Science and Math Tests
Another reason I'm grateful I live here!
I've read on blogs the disparaging remarks calling Massachusetts "Assachusetts" and "Taxachusetts," but now we can quietly enjoy the last laugh on all who have denigrated this little gem of a state.
And who wouldn't be happy and proud to read this:
"Massachusetts eighth-graders outperformed most countries on a highly regarded international math and science exam, according to results being released Tuesday, offering fresh evidence that the state’s educational system rivals academically powerful nations around the globe.
In the science part of the test, only Singapore outscored Massachusetts eighth-graders.
In math, Massachusetts trailed only South Korea, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, and Japan; 63 countries took the test.
The impressive showing on the Trends in International Math and Science Study, more commonly known as TIMSS, bodes well for Massachusetts as it tries to build a larger and more sophisticated workforce in the sciences and emerging technologies.
The goal is to enable the state to compete more aggressively on the global stage to attract businesses. Last year, about 600,000 fourth- and eighth-graders took the exam, which has been given every four years since 1995. Some sections of a country, such as Massachusetts, participated in the exam on their own.
In Massachusetts, 2,000 eighth-graders from 56 randomly selected schools across the state took the exam, the cost of which was covered by the National Center for Education Statistics. (Massachusetts fourth-graders did not participate because of budget constraints.)
Massachusetts not only outperformed the United States as a whole, but also all of the other states that took part as independent entities: Minnesota, North Carolina, Indiana, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, California, and Alabama.
“I am tremendously proud of our students for once again performing as global leaders in math and science,” said Governor Patrick. “Our record of leadership in student achievement isn’t by accident – it’s because we have chosen to invest deeply in education, knowing that our students will determine the future success of our economy and our Commonwealth.”
Massachusetts is committed to excellence in science and math--those subjects that will keep our country competitive in the global economy. Last year this news was welcomed as well:
State Outcomes in Math and Science Education Reveal Big Disparities
College Park, MD, July 1, 2011 —
"In a new ranking of how well the states' K-12 schools are preparing their students for science and engineering careers, Massachusetts leads the pack, while Mississippi trails behind as 'worst in the United States.' The rankings are reported in the summer issue of the Newsletter of the Forum on Education of the American Physical Society.
"We're not trying to criticize the states at the bottom," says Susan White of the Statistical Research Center at the American Institute of Physics (AIP), who developed the new Science and Engineering Readiness Index (SERI) with physicist Paul Cottle of Florida State University (FSU). "But states need to know how they're doing in order to improve."
Tax dollars invested in public education have paid off handsomely. I hope the rest of the country takes note of what can be accomplished when people value science and math over superstition and ignorance.
Well done Massachusetts!