LONDON, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- The Royal Society of Chemistry in Britain said the public school system is failing science students due to an erosion of standards on science tests.
More than 1,300 students took part in a recent study comparing modern science tests with tests from the 1960s, The Times of London reported Thursday.
Students, on average, scored 35 percent on the modern tests, but only 15 percent on the older exams, The Times reported.
In a petition signed by 1,700 people within 24 hours, the academic society said testing standards "have eroded so severely that the testing of problem-solving, critical thinking and the application of mathematics has almost disappeared."
Recent gains in annual test scores were "illusory," the society said.
"There has to be revolutionary change; otherwise, this country will continue to slide down the slippery slope to mediocrity," said Richard Pike, the society's chief executive.