By Jessica Kelmon
Mine isn’t dead last (Mississippi gets that dubious honor), but at #34 California hovers somewhere between “below average” and “far below average,” which seems to be how my fair state ranks on all things education lately.
These low scores are the updated results of the SERI or Science Engineering Readiness Index, which uses AP test scores, class enrollment data, and state teacher certification requirements to measure high school students’ performance in STEM learning basics. What makes this ranking stand out, according to its parent organization, the American Institute of Physics, is that it focuses on the “high school subjects that research says are most important to future scientists and engineers – physics and calculus.”
Despite California’s dismal scores as of late, it’s still a bit surprising we rank so low here. Silicon Valley innovators supply a (relatively) steady stream of well-paid STEM jobs and fund K-12 science and math learning programs. Apparently, all this local brain power is not enough.
What’s worse: Our national frontrunner is Massachusetts. But even our highest-ranking U.S. grads are still trailing kids in China or Singapore.
SERI top 5:
3) New Jersey
4) New Hampshire
5) New York
SERI bottom 5:
46) New Mexico
49) West Virginia
To see the full rankings, from first to last, check out this chart on the Huffington Post.
Where did your state rank – and are you surprised?