Did the Science Standards Review Team Ignore Public Feedback?

iowa_de.jpgDid the Science Standards Task Force essentially ignore public feedback given to them last month? The Iowa Department of Education announced today that they will reconvene in April.  I’ll reserve judgment, but the fact they decided to use the Next Generation Science Standards as a basis for their final recommendation to the Iowa State Board of Education is less than encouraging.  Perhaps they will surprise us, we’ll see.

From the press release:

Members of a state team charged with reviewing Iowa’s science standards agreed today that the Next Generation Science Standards will be the basis for their work on a final recommendation to the State Board of Education.

That work will continue at the Science Standards Review Team’s next meeting on April 14. At that time, the review team will go over the Next Generation Science Standards in detail and consider whether the standards should be adapted or adopted as they are.

Today, team members studied and discussed public feedback on the Next Generation Science Standards. Four public forums and a statewide survey in February generated about 2,600 comments. The group also discussed whether it should work from the entire Next Generation Science Standards document, or only the performance expectations of the standards. They also discussed whether the middle school standards should be grouped together or individually by grades 6, 7 and 8.

The review team’s work began last fall, when Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck convened 19 Iowans to review Iowa’s science standards as well as rigorous science standards from other states and organizations. The group’s charge is to recommend improvements to the State Board of Education.

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 +.


  1. Shane,

    The survey results and comments from the public meetings indicate those who spoke up support the NGSS by a significant margin. So it appears the review team in fact heeded public feedback. You can find a summary and links to the survey documents on my blog:




    • Shane Vander Hart says:

      That wasn’t the experience in Waukee.

      • Well, you can look at the anecdotal evidence of a single meeting or you can consider the totality of opinions gathered through the survey and all four meetings, plus written comments submitted by letter and email. In the latter case, it’s pretty clear the majority of people who took the time to weigh in support the NGSS. The review team can’t and shouldn’t make a decision based on opinions from a single meeting. (Nor should it entirely discount criticism, and I hope they take it into account. But objections founded on faulty assertions, i.e., evolution and anthropogenic climate change are bunk, deserve less weight.) Even in Waukee, the opinion wasn’t unanimously opposed. Thanks.

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