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Iowa will convene task force to review science standards

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Date: 
Wednesday, May 1, 2013

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Iowa’s role in the Next Generation Science Standards initiative will shift from guiding the development of the new science standards to determining whether they are the right fit for Iowa.

Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced today that the Iowa Department of Education will convene a statewide task force to review the Next Generation Science Standards, a multi-state initiative to develop a common set of learning expectations in science for students in kindergarten through high school.

Members of the task force will make a recommendation later this year to the State Board of Education about whether to adopt the voluntary standards as part of the Iowa Core, the statewide academic standards in math, science, English/language arts and social studies.

The announcement was made at a Next Generation Science Standards awareness session hosted by the Iowa Department of Education at DuPont Pioneer.  

Twenty-six states, including Iowa, worked to develop the science standards during a two-year collaborative, state-led process that was managed by Achieve, a nonprofit education organization. About 70 Iowans were involved, including K-12 educators, science consultants, higher education faculty, and Iowa Department of Education staff members.

“Iowa had a key role in the development of these standards because we support an approach to science education that challenges students to truly grasp subject matter and apply what they’re learning,” Iowa Department of Education Director Jason Glass said. “This is important in a new economy that is demanding innovation, collaboration and critical-thinking skills.

“We look forward to the process of vetting these new standards to determine whether they should move forward in Iowa,” Glass added.

The Next Generation Science Standards are internationally benchmarked and identify science and engineering practices and content with a focus on preparing K-12 students to go to college or to enter the workforce. The standards were released in April and are available for voluntary adoption in states.

Iowa’s role as a lead state partner included gathering and delivering feedback from state-level committees as the standards were being drafted. Lead state partners also agreed to give serious consideration to adopting the Next Generation Science Standards.

Today’s awareness session was organized as an opportunity to learn about the Next Generation Science Standards initiative. About 240 Iowans participated, including teachers and school administrators, science consultants from school districts and Area Education Agencies, higher education faculty, and business leaders.

Iowans may apply to be considered to serve on the statewide task force. For application information and materials, contact MaLinda Hugh-Reynolds at malinda.hugh-reynolds@iowa.gov.

Comments about Iowa’s review of the Next Generation Science Standards may be submitted in writing to yvette.mcculley@iowa.gov.

To read the Next Generation Science Standards, visit http://www.nextgenscience.org/.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on April 20, 2014 at 5:35am.