The National Assessment of Educational Progress is the largest continuing nation-wide assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas. Assessments are conducted periodically in mathematics, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, and U.S. history (http://scim.ag/NAEP-2009). The most recent report found that 12% of first year college students had never done any quantitative reasoning activities. Reasoning activities include reaching conclusions based on your own analysis, interpreting numerical, graphical, or statistical information in order to understand the claims of others, and evaluating conclusions others have reached based on numerical, graphical or statistical information.
The report also found that 40% of high school seniors scored below the basic achievement level in science in 2009, and that only 1% of 12th graders scored at the advanced level of reading math and science. Interestingly, the report also found that 34% of fourth-graders, 30% of eighth-graders, and 21% of twelfth-graders performed at or above the proficient level, demonstrating competency over challenging subject matter. Seventy-two percent of fourth-graders, 63% of eighth-graders, and 60% of twelfth-graders performed at or above the Basic level in science in 2009, demonstrating partial mastery of the knowledge and skills fundamental for proficient work in math and science.
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H2O (Headwaters to Ocean) is a cooperative project sponsored by the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University and funding partner, the Ewing Halsell Foundation which supports the project H2O. H2O is an experiential, technology-enhanced education program focused on water, from headwaters to the ocean (http://www.water-texas.org)