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New standards may explain dip in Nebraska science scores

Jan 2, 2019

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska officials are taking steps to improve the state's education testing scores, starting by adopting new, more rigorous standards.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that about 68 percent of Nebraska public school students tested as proficient in science last spring, down 2 percentage points from 2016-17. The scores were taken from fifth, eighth and 11th grades.

Nebraska Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt says a temporary disparity between standards and the test could be a factor in the drop.

The test is currently measuring students' proficiency against old standards set in 2010, not the new standards the state Board of Education approved last year.

Blomstedt says districts have likely been adjusting curriculum for when the new testing standards are adopted in 2021. He says the new standards raise expectations around science.