For immediate release
June 12, 2013
Contact: Tom Foster (785) 296-3142, Director of Career Standards and Assessments
State Board of Education adopts Next Generation Science Standards
TOPEKA – The State Board of Education yesterday adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as the Kansas College and Career Standards for Science. This makes Kansas the third state in the nation to formally adopt the rigorous, internationally benchmarked standards. Since September 2011, Kansas has been working as one of 26 lead states helping to develop the standards, which are built upon a vision for science education established by the Framework for K-12 Science Education, published by the National Academies’ National Research Council in 2011.
“I am pleased to be able to bring the rigor, clarity and connectedness of these standards to the teachers and students of Kansas,” said State Board Chairwoman Jana Shaver. “Kansas educators have been able to be involved in the development of these standards from the beginning and our Board has heard regularly from those who have been part of this effort. I am extremely confident that by adopting the Next Generation Science Standards we are helping to prepare Kansas students to be ready not only for college-level science coursework, but also for science literacy in everyday life.”
The standards serve as a guideline for where students should be academically from kindergarten through twelfth grade. They were uniquely formatted to integrate what had previously been three distinct areas of standards development – science content, science practices and the underlying ideas that bridge science disciplines. The focus of the standards is on core understandings of science, allowing educators to engage students in science practices to explore those understandings in depth.
Work will begin immediately to help districts develop plans for implementing the standards. Training, both in person and online, will begin with the new school year to help school districts build capacity for science education. Those trainings will be offered by the
Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) in partnership with the Kansas Association for Teachers of Science, state universities, informal science educators and regional service centers. As always, it will be up to each local school district to determine the curriculum needed to ensure students are able to achieve the standards, but KSDE and others will work to support teachers in transitioning to the NGSS.
As a lead state in the development of the standards, Kansas had a review committee comprised of representatives from Kansas K-12 and post-secondary science education, informal science education, science-related business and industries and policy makers that reviewed six drafts of the standards and provided feedback on each. Two of the drafts were also available for public feedback and the review committee reached out into the state to ensure as many Kansans as possible provided feedback. Throughout the process, the review committee observed many of their recommendations being incorporated into subsequent standards drafts.
In addition to providing feedback on the standards, the review committee provided monthly updates on the review process to the Kansas State Board of Education to keep members apprised of the standards development process. The final version of the standards was released in April and in May the Kansas NGSS review committee presented their recommendation to the Kansas State Board of Education to adopt the standards as the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards for Science. The recommendation, along with the feedback that the Kansas NGSS Review committee provided throughout the process, can be found on the KSDE website (www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=5688).
“I am incredibly proud of the work of the Kansas NGSS Review Committee,” said Matt Krehbiel, KSDE science consultant. “This group brought together their professional expertise in science education and put in a lot of sweat equity to help shape these standards into performance expectations that build on what we know about how students learn science, align with best practices of instruction, and provide students with the foundational science knowledge and experiences they will need no matter what career they choose. Kansas students will reap the benefits of this work for many years.”
The development of the Next Generation Science Standards was a collaborative, state-led process coordinated through the National Research Council and facilitated by Achieve, an education reform non-profit organization. Funding for the initiative was provided by the Carnegie Foundation.