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Draft science standards to be released Tuesday ... they say
The second and final public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards is set to be released on the writing organization's website on Tuesday.
At least that's what they're saying today. The long-awaited draft was originally scheduled for release in mid-November, but officials said that was delayed when Hurricane Sandy threw pretty much everything on the Eastern Seaboard into chaos. Then the expected release date was pushed back to mid-December, but now it appears they will come out next week.
Kansas is one of the lead states helping draft those standards, which are likely to become a model for science and technology education throughout the country. But they are still expected to generate some controversy here when the committee finalizes the document - they say that will happen in March - and the Kansas State Board of Education takes up the question of whether to formally adopt them in this state.
Much like the Common Core State Standards for reading, English language arts and math, the new science standards are intended to raise the academic bar for students, broaden their knowledge and make them more competitive internationally.
In a nutshell, the new science standards will be organized around three "dimensions:"
• Practices - the behaviors that scientists engage in as they investigate and build models and theories.
• Crosscutting concepts - those ideas that have application across all domains of science.
• And Disciplinary core ideas - or those ideas that have the power to focus K–12 science curriculum, instruction and assessments on the most important aspects of science.
Of those three, look for the most heated debate around the "core ideas," because that's where they stress evolution as a basic principle of understanding life science.
The public is invited to review the draft and submit comments through the website.