Core Ideas: A New Approach to Science Standards

Over the past year we’ve followed the adoption of the Common Core State Standards and have written on how the standards will aid educators and parents hoping to ensure that their students graduate ready for the rigors of college.  Earlier this month the New York Times reported that Achieve, Inc. is working to create a set of national standards based on a new framework for science, which was created over the course of the past year.

As the Times reports:

It is the latest in decades of efforts to improve the science knowledge of American students, who have typically ranked in the middle of the pack on international comparison tests. The research council, which is the operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, last weighed in on science education standards in 1996.

A new framework for improving American science education calls for paring the curriculum to focus on core ideas and teaching students more about how to approach and solve problems rather than just memorizing factual nuggets.

While the implementation process could take several years, Achieve has plans to complete its work on the standards by the end of the year, and is set to make drafts publicly available before then.  In an increasingly competitive global environment, it’s encouraging to see more groups support the effort to elevate educational standards across the U.S. and to improve the content knowledge of our students.

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