Public Input for Next Generation Science Standards Sought

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Dr. Brad Buck

The Iowa Department of Education announced last week that it is seeking public input about Next Generation Science Standards.

Academic standards represent expectations for what students should know and be able to do from kindergarten through high school. Iowa’s academic standards are being reviewed, starting with science, as part of Executive Order 83.

“We want to improve our state standards, and we also want to make sure they are the right fit for Iowa,” Buck said. “That’s why public input is such a critical part of this review process.”

The process began last fall, when Buck convened a team of education and business leaders to review Iowa’s science standards, as well as rigorous science standards from other states, and to make a preliminary recommendation for improvement to take to the public for feedback.

The science standards review team’s preliminary recommendation came in December, following three public meetings.

Executive Order 83 was signed by Governor Branstad as a way to address concerns about the Common Core State Standards.  So I find it ironic that it’s being touted in a process that could lead to the adoption of another set of subpar top-down set of standards that even Common Core advocates like the Fordham Institute doesn’t like.

First you have an online survey.  Which you can find here.  It is open until February 27.  The there will be public forums:

Wednesday, Feb. 11: Waukee
4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Waukee Community Schools District Office – Board Room
560 Southeast University Ave.
Waukee, IA

Tuesday, Feb. 24, Ottumwa
4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Great Prairie Area Education Agency, Ottumwa Office – Auditorium
2814 North Court Street
Ottumwa, IA

Wednesday, Feb. 25, Dubuque
4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Keystone Area Education Agency, Dubuque Office – Room 1 ABC
2310 Chaney Road
Dubuque, IA

Thursday, Feb. 26, Sioux City
4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Northwest Area Education Agency, Administrative Office – Room A/Auditorium
1520 Morningside Ave.
Sioux City, IA

I’d encourage you to take the online survey, and attend a forum if possible.

Feedback from the February public forums and survey will be used to provide guidance to the science standards review team, which is expected to submit a final recommendation regarding science standards to the State Board of Education later this year.

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

To read Iowa’s academic standards, visit https://iowacore.gov/.

About Shane Vander Hart

Shane Vander Hart founded Iowans for Local Control in 2012 which later merged with Iowa RestorEd. Shane also is the founder and editor-in-chief of Caffeinated Thoughts and the founder and president of 4:15 Communications, LLC, a social media & communications consulting/management firm.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook or follow him on Twitter and Google +.

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