In the last decade, school principals have watched reading and math — the two core subjects that used to make or break a school under the No Child Left Behind Act — get all the attention. No one said to ignore science, but with No Child Left Behind penalties tied to math and reading, there was little question what took first priority in elementary schools nationwide.
Many schools doubled up on reading or math classes, and the extra minutes often were carved right out of science and social studies. Some Kansas City administrators said there wasn’t a consistent and coherent science curriculum until recently.
Now, as new common core standards are rolled out and educators wait for the Next Generation Science Standards to be released, elementary science has gotten renewed attention. Missouri school districts are requiring teachers to dedicate more time to science, experiment regularly and integrate science into other classes.