taking the pulse of bioscience education in america a state by state analysis l.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Taking the pulse of bioscience education in America: A State-by-State Analysis PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Taking the pulse of bioscience education in America: A State-by-State Analysis

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 20

Taking the pulse of bioscience education in America: A State-by-State Analysis - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Taking the pulse of bioscience education in America: A State-by-State Analysis. Battelle Technology Partnership Practice May 2009. Project Team. Battelle World’s largest independent research and development organization Conducts $5.2 billion in global R&D annually

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

Taking the pulse of bioscience education in America: A State-by-State Analysis

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
taking the pulse of bioscience education in america a state by state analysis

Taking the pulse of bioscience education in America: A State-by-State Analysis

Battelle Technology Partnership Practice

May 2009

project team
Project Team
  • Battelle
    • World’s largest independent research and development organization
    • Conducts $5.2 billion in global R&D annually
  • Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)
  • Biotechnology Institute
  • PMP Public Affairs Consulting
bioscience talent challenge
Like other technology-driven industries, the biosciences calls for a college-educated workforce (but not all PhDs and MDs), lots of technicians, engineers and quality control.

Estimated that over 80% of life science jobs require post-secondary education.

What differentiates biosciences industry is its specialized skill requirements.

MA Life Sciences Center, “Growing Talent: Meeting the Evolving Needs of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Industry,” found the following specific workforce shortages:

Clinical trials management

Regulatory affairs

Process development and manufacturing engineers


Laboratory animal care

Specialty scientific fields, like toxicology

Quality assurance and quality control

Bioscience Talent Challenge
but u s falling behind and so a crisis is brewing
U.S. failing to keep pace with international competitors:

On science literacy —as measured by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) — U.S. stands 17th out of 29 OECD nations.

U.S. has slipped to 7th in the world in the educational attainment of younger adults aged 25 to 34 with at least an associate’s degree — serious risk that theeducational attainment of younger workers in U.S. may fall short of older generation of workers it is replacing.

Warning Signs on Bioscience Education:

On the National Assessment of Educational Progress, life sciences scores for 12th graders have declined from 1996 to 2005.

Based on American College Test — a standardized achievement test for college admission — only 28% of U.S. students taking the test had a score indicating college readiness for biology.

But U.S. falling behind…and so a crisis is brewing!
project objective
Time is ripe for an in-depth analysis of states’ performance in preparing an educated bioscience workforce.

Focus on middle and high school level as primary feeders to postsecondary education and shapers of career awareness and preparation.

Key Questions:

How well are students in high school and middle school being prepared in the biosciences in particular and in science and mathematics in general?

How and to what extent are states incorporating the biosciences into school curricula?

How well prepared are science teachers to teach students about the biosciences?

To what extent are students exposed to the biosciences and made aware of career opportunities and educational requirements?

Project Objective
Framework was developed after consultation with

National experts in bioscience education

Industry leaders

Biotechnology Institute

Data collection

Battelle used existing secondary data supplemented by state specific surveys


Student achievement

Standards and requirements

Teach quality and preparation

Experiential learning and career awareness

framework for assessing student achievement
Framework for Assessing Student Achievement
  • Indicators
    • 8th Grade NAEP Life Science Scores
    • Percent of AP Biology Students Scoring 3 or higher
    • Percent of ACT Tested Students Ready for College-level Biology
    • ACT-SAT Math Scores


The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

Advanced placement (AP) tests

The American College Test (ACT)

The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

Percentage of 8th grade students that are “proficient” in science ranged from a high of 43% to a low of 14% among states in 2005
  • Only 52% of 12th graders are at or above a “basic” level of achievement in the sciences, and for 8th graders only 57% are at a basic level of achievement
  • Even in states with the highest scores, fewer than half of 8th graders are “proficient” in science.
And scores in science and life science are not improving – 12th grade scores declined between 1996 and 2005

Striking regional differences in 8th grade NAEP Science Average Scores for 2005 with Northeastern, Mountain and Upper Midwest regions standing out as higher performers

Leading States in NAEP Science Achievement

North Dakota



New Hampshire

South Dakota







high schools are not preparing students to pursue college level science
High schools are not preparing students to pursue college-level science
  • ACT has determined that those students who achieve a score of 24 in the science section of the ACT have a 50% chance of obtaining a B or higher in college-level biology.
  • On average, only 28% of the high school students taking the ACT reached a score indicating college readiness for biology and no state reached even 50%.

Leading States in ACT Science Achievement

New York







New Hampshire




South Dakota

States vary greatly in the percentage of their students that receive a passing grade of 3 or greater on the AP Biology test
  • The share of students scoring 3 or greater in AP Biology ranges from a low of 15% to a high of 68%
  • More than 60% of test takers in Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Massachusetts score 3 or higher
Leaders of the PackConnecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Vermont, Wisconsin

Second Tier Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington

Middling PerformanceAlabama, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Montana, South Carolina, Wyoming

Lagging PerformanceArkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia

Not Rated: Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico were not rated as they did not participate in the NAEP science assessment in 2005

Wide disparities exist among the states in student performance in the biosciences and broader sciences

The patterns of student performance across key achievement measures suggest states fall into several broad categories.

Key measures:

  • 8th grade NAEP life sciences score
  • Percent of AP biology students scoring 3 or higher
  • Percent of ACT tested students ready for college level biology
  • ACT-SAT math average indexed relative to the U.S.
Many state science standards require that students be made aware of biotechnology and its societal impacts
  • Arkansas’ standards require that students:
    • Demonstrate a current understanding of life science theories
    • Describe the connections between pure and applied science
    • Describe various life science careers and the training required for selected careers
    • Investigate the molecular basis of genetics
    • Engage in hands-on activities during at least 20% of instructional time
More must be done to raise the level and quality of bioscience education if the U.S. is to remain globally competitive in the biosciences
  • Student achievement in the biosciences, to the extent it can be measured, is poor and not improving
  • Programs that seek to incorporate the biosciences and biotechnology in school curricula, improve teacher quality and knowledge of the biosciences, provide experiential learning, and increase career awareness are numerous but limited in their reach
looking toward the future
Looking toward the future
  • States should incorporate biotechnology as they revise their science standards and should involve research scientists with expertise in the biosciences in their development
  • States must commit to improving student achievement in biology and the life sciences and ensuring that their high school graduates are ready to pursue college-level bioscience courses
  • States should do a better job of collecting and disseminating data to track student participation and performance in the biosciences and the broader sciences
  • States should take a more systematic approach to teacher professional development, experiential learning, and career awareness
Mitch Horowitz


Battelle Technology Partnership Practice



A copy of the report as well as the individual profiles for the 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia can be found at