Persistently Low Science Achievement in U.S. Schools: Multiyear Longitudinal Trajectories and Early Risk Factors
Authors: Paul L. Morgan, George Farkas, Yoonkyung Oh, Marianne Hillemeier, Steven Maczuga
Presented at 2017 AERA
Abstract: To better inform early screening and intervention efforts for those most at risk, we used growth mixture modeling to analyze the general knowledge and science achievement trajectories of a population-based sample of 7,177 U.S. schoolchildren followed from kindergarten to eighth grade. Experiencing low science achievement by third grade increased children’s risk of persistently low science achievement throughout elementary and middle school. Lower reading and mathematics achievement or behavioral self-regulation uniquely predicted persistently low general knowledge during the primary grades and persistently low science achievement during the elementary and middle school grades. Children who are racial or ethnic minorities, females, or are from less economically resourced families were at increased risk for persistently low levels of general knowledge and science achievement.