Griffith said teachers responding to the survey said they reported grades in science because there was a spot on the grade card for it. But the teachers felt so pressured to increase performance in the high-stakes reading and math tests that they have cut back or eliminated class time for science.
“I identified that a little over 55 percent of our K-6 teachers have decreased science education,” Griffith said. “The average was between 30 minutes to an hour per week that they have cut it, with the main reason that they want to focus on reading and math assessments.”
Most of our elementary grade levels have cut science. At most some alternate Science and Social Studies every other month for 30 minute blocks. However, it’s always the first time slot in the day to be cut for other things. It’s a shame, but the teachers are pressured to show ELA and Math gains. I think it’s another casualty of high-stakes testing. The students and teachers love science, but the pressure from other areas is too great.
It doesn’t help that many elementary school teachers lack adequate science training (through no fault of their own; I have a ton of respect for the work of elementary teachers)