The New York Times reports that the first nationwide science test administered in the past five years shows that the achievement of high school seniors has declined during the last decade. This decline happened despite the fact that science performance for fourth graders rose and eight graders’ performance held steady. The declining science scores appeared to be a reflection of a growing academic trend where gains in the lower grades were tempered or reversed as the students progressed to the higher grades. The test results came from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which was administered in 2005 by the Department of Education to over 300,000 students in all 50 states…