Tennessee leading way with science standards
Posted: Friday, September 30, 2011 6:02 pm
Tennessee is among a group of states selected to lead an important effort to improve science education for all students. The state, along with 19 others, will lead the development of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which will clearly define the content and practices students will need to learn from kindergarten through high school graduation. The NGSS process is being managed by Achieve, an education reform non-profit organization.
“A growing number of jobs in Tennessee and around the country require a strong background in science, technology and engineering.
This new, rigorous curriculum will be imperative in making our students competitive for those future jobs,” said Kevin Huffman, Tennessee Education Commissioner.
The 20 lead state partners are Arizona, California, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.
The development of the Next Generation Science Standards is a two-step process.
The first step was the building of a framework that identified the core ideas and practices in natural sciences and engineering that all students should be familiar with by the time they graduate.
In July, the National Research Council released A Framework for K-12 Science Education, developed by a committee with expertise in science, teaching and learning, curriculum, assessment and education policy.
The second step is the development of science standards based on the Framework.
As a lead state partner, Tennessee will guide the standard writing process, gather and deliver feedback from state-level committees and come together to address common issues and challenges.
The lead state partners also agree to commit staff time to the initiative and, upon completion, give serious consideration to adopting the Next Generation Science Standards. In order to be considered, Tennessee had to submit a letter with the signature of the commissioner and the chairman of the Tennessee Board of Education.
For more information, visit the Next Generation Science Standards website at www.nextgenscience.org .