… but they still suck. This is according to the results of the 2009 NAEP. Only 46% of Virginia’s fourth graders (and fewer eighth graders) were found to be “proficient” in science. This is awesome compared to the national average of 32%, but still — we have a lot of work to do. And I think we should start by attracting professional scientists to our schools through differential pay. If you have a degree in science and want to teach, we’ll give you some hefty bonuses. We may even set up some fast-track programs to get you the other state credentials you need.