Easton Schools Want More Focus on Science

Test scores close to state average, but Easton school officials worry students aren't spending enough time on science.

At , students need to take four years of history and four years of English, but only three years of math and science.

Tuesday night's school board committee meeting had school officials asking whether it's time for that to change.

"It kind of perplexes me that, nothing wrong with history, nothing wrong with English…but math and science, we have one less credit," said board member William Rider.

This came up during a presentation by high school Principal Michael Koch on the high school's science scores in the tests.

In the past four years, Easton students have ranked below the state average when it came to science scores.

Koch's presentation noted that the school's will give students more time in the lab, something board member Robert Moskaitis said is important for students to have.

"Science is an experimental activity," he said. "You could no more teach science without experiments than could you teach a child a music instrument by reading sheet music."

Parent Jill Nathanson said she wishes the district placed more emphasis on science fairs, noting that her daughter participated in them throughout elementary school, only to see them stop in the first three years of .

She talked about taking her daughter to a regional fair recently, and being inspired by "these huge groups of students who are excited about science," before adding: 

"All these students are sending bus loads of students…and there were maybe three, four, five kids from Easton."

Koch said that just because students aren't required to take four years of science doesn't mean that they only take four years. In a class of about 600 kids, 300 will usually take the elective forth year of science.

He told board members it wouldn't be easy to make science a requirement for all four years of high school.

"Would they call for an increase in staff? Absolutely," he said. "We don’t have an inifinite supply of resources." 

Tuesday's meeting -- held at -- will be the last committee meeting until September. The next regular board meeting is scheduled for June 26.

Jack June 06, 2012 at 11:52 AM
I would be a good idea to teach kids how to read and write first. Young adults cannot do either in today's world. It is like putting the cart before the horse.
John Thomas June 06, 2012 at 12:59 PM
The EASD schools have as much resources and opportunities for all students to excel as any other school system. There has been a marked improvement in almost all subjects over the past 5 years. SEE: http://www.greatschools.org/cgi-bin/pa/district-profile/182#subgroups The average test scores are in some cases very good...in others, not so good. The one thing that is very clear when you look at the scores by sub-groups is that the groups of students that want to learn… do. The sub-groups who are lazy and entitled...don't. The culture and family environments of these sub-groups explain a lot. Groups that don't value education, Children who are raised in an environment or culture that prefers to live off the government or off of the hard-work and sweat of others don't bother with their education. Children who are brought up in an environment of hard-work, self-sacrifice and responsibility put a value on their education and take advantage of the many opportunities afforded them. These are the same children who will grow into responsible hard-working adults whose labor and knowledge will fuel the economy and growth of this country. The others will suck at it like parasites; take all they can from it without giving anything in return. As adults, they will be as they are as children (students)...useless.
Tom Coombe (Editor) June 06, 2012 at 01:10 PM
What subgroups do you mean, John?
Amend June 06, 2012 at 01:54 PM
@Tom- sounds like John is loosely veiling his racist/classist attitudes. According to his logic tho, one of those sub groups would be children of the affluent, since they are typically entitled by the wealth and influence of their parents. I don't necessarily agree with that, just pointing out flaws in his biased logic.
louis kootsares June 06, 2012 at 03:54 PM
oh gee another loosely used term by boo hoo liberals racist...add it to professional that term is a favorite used by teachers but if a person gets paid to remove gum from a toilet seat he is a professional lets use some correct terms.. a parasite drains the life out of its host and left unchecked causes death.. thats the term that fits the neshaminy teachers on strike and most other teachers now the term racist in regards to johns statement no tom is throwing racist around there are parents with no responsibility and believe they did their parenting job being baby factories this attitude is shown in their children it could be any race
louis kootsares June 06, 2012 at 03:56 PM
the state should set up a standard ciriculium for all schools to use as to avoid any brainstorms
John Thomas June 06, 2012 at 05:30 PM
No, there was no negative racist intent at all....the sub-groups are listed in the report "PSSA results by sub-group"...read it
bill frome June 06, 2012 at 09:25 PM
I would say about 1/3 of the parents in Easton use school as a daycare for their kids and could care less what classes their kid takes. Then after school those kids run the streets until 10 pm. I see it every day. Once their kids are 18 they tell them to go get a job so they can pay them rent and the cycle continues when they become parents. No race is exempt from this type of attitude. In Easton its quite rampant it might be higher than a third.
P Berger June 07, 2012 at 02:06 AM
I just moved to Easton and my daughters will be entering 9th and 7th grade in the fall. My oldest participated in the Science Olympiad at East Hills Middle School and they advanced to the state finals! This endeavor was completely her undertaking... She has a passion for science and will do whatever it takes to learn more than what can be taught to her in the classroom. Both of my daughters are very strong in academics and are shining examples of what a child can be, when given the right tools and encouragement. My girls may not be required to take 4 years of science, but I know they will.
Ronnie DelBacco June 07, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Amend, Do you mean like your "veiled" real name. I read John's post and see no signs of racism at all. Stop looking for something that isn't there. He is saying, basically, that kids who are not taught responsibility at home carry that sentiment with them through adulthood, regardless of race. That has nothing to do with it.
louis kootsares June 07, 2012 at 07:33 PM
be specific? you must either be a professional drain on us tax payers with a brood of kids and no job or a parasite educator or just a boohoo liberal who probably would vote for phoney obahma again i would explain to someone worth explaining to be specific what a moron comment
louis kootsares June 07, 2012 at 07:33 PM
i just did
louis kootsares June 14, 2012 at 12:49 PM
alot of teacher layoffs around the state schools were over staffed ,lets do it right merge school districts slash administrations get secretarys instead of assistants,slash benefits and salaries of superintendents and administrators mid management can do it just as good end tenure get manditory drug testing and change the school taxing system. and iam sure the fantastic laid off teachers willhave no trouble getting a real job


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