It appears that students in the U.S. have some ground to make up when it comes to science and technology.
WASHINGTON (AP) - It appears that students in the U.S. have some ground to make up when it comes to science and technology.
Results from the latest exam given in 2009 find that only a fraction of those who took the test have the skills needed to pursue careers in science and technology.
According to the so-called Nation's Report Card, only 1 percent of fourth-grade and 12th-grade students, and 2 percent of eighth-graders, scored in the highest group.
The skills students need to reach the advanced level range from comparing types of bird food in fourth grade; predicting the sun's position in the sky in eighth grade; and recognizing a nuclear fission reaction for 12th graders.
Overall, 34 percent of fourth-graders, 30 percent of eighth-graders and 21 percent of 12th-graders scored at the proficient level or above.
The average U.S. score was 502, putting American students within the range of countries including Poland, France, and Portugal. But it was well below the average score of 575 for students in Shanghai, China.
A member of the board overseeing the test says the results suggest that America's ability to create the next generation of leaders in science and technology is in serious danger.