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K-State Today

January 25, 2013



Next Generation Science Standards open for feedback until Jan. 29

By Gary W. Gerhard

Quality science education is based on standards that are rich in content and practice, aligned with curricula, and supported through high quality teacher preparation and professional development.

It has been nearly 15 years since the National Research Council and the American Association for Advancement in Science produced the documents on which most current state science standards are based. Since that time, major advances in science and our understanding of how youth learn science have taken place.

The time is right to forge Next Generation Science Standards, or NGSS. Through a collaborative, state-led process, new K–12 science standards are being developed for use in both formal and in-formal science education. These new standards will be rich in content and practice as well as arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education. The standards are based on the framework for K–12 science education developed by the National Research Council and the American Association for Advancement in Science.  

Kansas is one of 26 lead states in this project. The voices of youth at all grades and participants in out-of-school time programs like 4-H Youth Development, educators and volunteers at all levels, parents, and workforce leaders are vital to this final public hearing.  We all have a stake in the economic future of Kansas with our parts to play in career and workforce readiness.

Next Generation Science Standards opened for feedback on Jan. 8 and will remain open for feedback until Jan. 29. We fully encourage all interested parties whether at one of our three campuses or in K-State Research and Extension programs in local communities to review the draft as individuals or in groups and provide feedback to the lead states and writers. 

For details of the complete project and where to comment go to http://www.nextgenscience.org.

Jacqueline Spears, Ph.D.
Interim associate dean, K-State Olathe and director of the center for science education, K-State Manhattan
jdspears@k-state.edu                              

Gary W. Gerhard, Ph.D.
Professor and specialist, science liaison
Department of 4-H Youth Development
K-State Research and Extension
ggerhard@k-state.edu