As schools prepare for the debut this fall of science testing under No Child Left Behind, educators and science advocates are calling for renewed awareness of what many say is a national crisis in science education.

Science-minded educators have lamented that federally mandated math and reading tests have taken valuable class time away from science instruction. Those same educators have voiced hope that science testing under NCLB will bring a renewed focus to instruction in the topic.

States will be required to test students in science once a year in elementary (grades 3-5), middle (grades 6-9), and high schools (grades 10-12). The...

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