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FIGURE 3-15 Percentage of students within and at or above achievement levels in science, grades 4, 8, and 12, 1996 and 2000.

SOURCE: National Center for Education Statistics. Available at: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/.

subject in college or are not certified to teach it. The situation is worse for low-income students: 70% of their middle school mathematics teachers majored in some other subject in college.

Meanwhile, an examination of curricula reveals that middle school mathematics and science courses lack focus, cover too many topics, repeat material, and are implemented inconsistently. That could be changing, at



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