26 States Consider Newly Released Science Standards
SCIENCE GOES STANDARD: Move over, Common Core! If you've been wondering where the support for science, technology, and engineering has been in the recent standards frenzy, look no further than the Next Generation Science Standards released this week. The comprehensive K-12 standards - developed by 26 lead states -- make significant departures from most stand-alone state science standards, using A Framework for K-12 Science Education from the National Academy of Sciences as a starting point. Chief among those changes is the notion that a "K-12 science education should reflect the interconnected nature of science as it is practiced and experienced in the real world."
Put, eh, less scientifically, students aren't learning to think like scientists and engineers when they move arbitrarily between silos of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. The NextGen standards don't necessarily change content requirements as much as they re-organize expectations, asking students to create a coherent narrative that captures core scientific concepts. No word yet on when the standards will impact the classroom. For now, state and local districts are charged with creating a new curriculum.
Editors Note: A previous version of this article stated that the standards were adopted by 26 states. At the time of release, no states had voted to adopt the NGSS standards.