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News Picks : Tougher science standards, more school dropouts

By: Physics Today
13 August 2014

Ars Technica: Using data from the US Census Bureau, researchers from Washington University in St. Louis have sought to determine the impact of rigorous science standards that have been implemented in schools in some US states. The study period ran from 1980 to 1999 and encompassed graduation requirements that ranged from zero mandatory science courses to six. Once all the other influences were accounted for, the researchers found that the states with the highest math and science requirements had dropout rates up to one percentage point higher than those with the lowest requirements. Science standards also influence students' college careers. Although high math and science standards depressed college attendance, they also raised college graduation rates. The boost was strongest—three percentage points—for black women.

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