New Science Standards Raise Hopes for Narrowing Achievement Gap

Kindergarten teacher Micaela Morse shows her students parts of a goldfish as part of the new science standards. Morse teaches at International Community School in Oakland.

As California rolls out new K-12 science standards, some educators believe the new curriculum will spark a love of science and boost test scores among African Americans and Latinos, and ultimately lead to a more diverse STEM workforce.

“I think there’s a great deal of optimism that the new standards will make a dent” in the achievement gap, said Kathy DiRanna, K-12 Alliance statewide director for WestEd, which is overseeing the early implementation of the new standards in eight California school districts and two charter organizations. “That’s because it’s hands-on, helps build language skills, includes reading and writing. This is really a way to get science to all kids.”

The new standards, called the Next Generation Science Standards, include a 21-page appendix that offers guidelines for teachers on how to reach students who are English learners, economically disadvantaged, racial or ethnic minorities, who have disabilities or are otherwise in demographic groups that are underrepresented in the science fields.

Click here to read the full story in Ed Source (April 13, 2017)

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