State adopts new science standards for schools

October 14, 2013

By Staff

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 14, 2013

Washington has adopted a new set of standards aimed at providing consistent science education for students in all grade levels.

The adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards — which emphasize skills in engineering and technology — was announced Oct. 4 by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn and Gov. Jay Inslee at a press conference at Cascade Middle School in Highline.

The standards spell out what students at each grade level should know in four domains: physical science; life science; earth and space science; and engineering, technology and science application.

“Our classrooms are where Washington’s next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs get their start,” Inslee said in a press release. “These new standards will help educators cultivate students’ natural curiosity, push their creative boundaries, and get kids excited about science and technology.”

Washington is the eighth state to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards. The process for implementation will be similar to the one used for the Common Core State Standards. Schools are expected to have the standards in place by the 2016-17 school year, with student testing on the new standards taking place the following year.

Dorn noted the new standards focus on student diversity and equity. The standards also build on each other, meaning material students learn one year impacts what they learn the next. Integrating engineering and technology across all grades gives students a solid foundation in both areas, Dorn said.

“We live in an increasingly complex world,” he added in the release. “And we will need solutions to some big problems, like conserving water and finding new sources of energy. A high-quality science education that starts in the early grades is the key to ensuring we solve those problems and create a future full of possibilities.”

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3 Responses to “State adopts new science standards for schools”

  1. State adopts new science standards for schools : | Welcome! on October 14th, 2013 6:53 am

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  2. Ron Nauer on October 19th, 2013 8:12 pm

    It will be interesting if and how soon there is any monetary support for upgrading science facilities and support. I have been teaching science since 1978, and where I teach, in Kent, things just keep getting worse each year. The labs are too small with too many students and are poorly designed.The building is about 45 years old and the labs have not been remodeled. The gas does not work, their is extremely low ventilation. It took me a year to have GFI outlets installed, which are located directly below the sinks. Following a request to have the air quality checked, the solution we were given was to keep our outside doors opened. The department budget is less then 100 dollars per instructor per year. We have one eye wash and safety shower in a store room shared by four labs which one has to go through a door to get to and is out of compliance with safety standards. There is not a fume hood and the exhaust fan is inadequate. There is one class set of safety goggles, which are about ten years old. We almost have sufficient lab equipment to out fit one lab, but have five labs. Our text books are approaching 15 years old and we don’t have enough. I am told that the district will wait about another five years, when the Next Generation Science Standards come into play before we will get new texts.Students have laptops but we have no peripheral computer aided lab equipment. The majority of our microscopes are likely to be older than the building. Perhaps these are some of the factors this state is not producing sufficient engineers, scientists, and researchers to satisfy the likes of Boeing, MicroSoft, and the Biotech industry.
    Ron Nauer

  3. Fred Veler on October 22nd, 2013 10:30 am

    State standards are great as long as all science teachers have and understand them. I retired 3 years ago, and the standards and the questions on tests were awful. And I went to every District science meeting during the years in two different school districts: the tests left off parts that were on the science outlines, especially about space science. I was told by District people in charge “Oh, don’t worry about that” even though I found out later ‘they’ knew what was going to be on the tests. And I love space science and even taught Astronomy to upper levels one year. And there were a few people that knew what areas were going to be used. Very sad about the whole thing! Education should be about teaching kids to think and solve real problems, not answer dumb questions that repeat ‘quack’ answers.

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