On May 20, a key piece of legislation (HB 487) which would prohibit the state from adopting science and social studies standards not developed in Ohio was approved by a Senate committee. HB 487 “blocks future adoption of nationally-developed standards in subjects such as science and social studies by preventing state officials from entering into any agreement that would require the state to hand over control of the development, adoption or revision of academic standards.” This would prohibit adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) because the standards were developed by a wide range of stakeholders in 26 states, including Ohio.
This legislation is expected to be voted on by the full Ohio Senate shortly. We need you to take action immediately and support the Next Generation Science Standards. Please do one or all of the following today:
- Contact your Ohio Legislators and the Governor: Call or email your state senators and representatives today and let them know the facts about the NGSS. Tell them not to support HB487.
- Post on Twitter: Following are some suggested tweets you can post. A list of twitter handles is below.
o High quality #science standards support economic development and college/career readiness in Ohio. Support #NGSS.
o For states, by states. #NGSS supports #STEM innovation in Ohio.
o Science teachers in Ohio support the #NGSS! No to HB487!
- Activate your networks: Pass this email on to your networks – business and community leaders, teachers, administrators, higher education professionals, and parents – and ask them to act now.
- After you contact your legislator and post on social media, write a letter to the editor or an Op-Ed: Draft a brief piece for Ohio news outlets – newspapers, blogs – that showcases your support for the NGSS and why these standards are necessary for Ohio. Consider writing a letter to the editor of the Columbus Dispatch.
Get background about the NGSS, fast facts, and reasons why we need NGSS below.
Please act now. Legislators should not be making critical decisions without input from educators, parents, students, business leaders and the higher education and research community. The NGSS were developed by Buckeyes and would improve science education in Ohio.
Read more at Cleveland.com
THE FACTS ABOUT THE NGSS
- The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are a new set of K-12 science standards developed by states, for states. The NGSS identify science and engineering practices and content that all K-12 students should master in order to be prepared for success in college and 21st-century careers.
- It has been more than 15 years since the National Research Council (NRC) and the American Association for Advancement in Science produced their reports from which most state science standards are based. Since that time, major advances in science and our understanding of how students learn science have taken place and need to be reflected in state standards.
- The NGSS are based on the NRC’s ‘A Framework on K-12 Science Education,’ released in July 2011. The Framework provides a sound, evidence-based foundation for science standards drawing on current scientific research—including research on the ways today’s students learn science effectively—and identifies the science ALL K-12 students should know.
- The NGSS are built upon a vision for quality science education for ALL students not just a select few.
- The NGSS are benchmarked against countries whose students perform well in science and engineering fields including: Finland, South Korea, China, Canada, England, Hungary, Ireland, Japan and Singapore.
- The NGSS are NOT curricula. Standards articulate and formalize what students need to know at each grade level – districts, schools and teachers will determine how the information is taught (the curriculum).
- The NGSS were developed, reviewed and validated by a team from Ohio.
SOME RATIONALE FOR THE NGSS
- Issues related to science and engineering are all around us in our daily lives. There is no end to the solutions and innovations human beings can develop to make the world a better place through scientific and engineering knowledge and discovery.
- Global issues like medical research, nutrition, waste disposal, infrastructure development, telecommunications, and cyber-security all require science-based solutions and a basic knowledge of scientific principles. Today’s students need to be prepared to address these challenges.
- Students will face unprecedented competition in the workforce not only within their home states, but also globally.
- By 2015, nearly 60% of the new jobs being created will require skills only mastered by 20% of the population, according to a recent report from the American Society for Training and Development.
- According to the same report, job skills in STEM-science, technology, engineering and math-are among the skills experiencing the greatest increase in demand. In 1991, fewer than 50% of U.S. jobs required skilled workers. But by 2015, 76% of all newly created U.S. jobs will require highly skilled workers, with some proficiency in STEM.
- Of course, science education is about more than building a strong future workforce; it affords students the means to gain resiliency, critical thinking skills and the knowledge they need to become capable, fulfilled adults in a technology-driven world.
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were developed by states, for states and 26 states voluntarily joined the process to develop the standards. The science supervisors in these 26 states’ education agencies worked with 41 writers to develop the standards and incorporate feedback from broad-based committees and the public. These committees consisted of critical stakeholders in education, science, business and industry, as well as the general public including, in some cases, parents and students. The draft standards received comments from over 10,000 individuals during each of two public review periods, including those in lead state review teams, school and school district discussion groups, and scientific societies. The writers then used this feedback to make substantial revisions. The final standards were released in April 2013. As of May 2014, 11 states and the District of Columbia have adopted: California, Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Vermont, Rhode Island, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Illinois.
 “Bridging the Skills Gap,” American Society for Training and Development (2010).http://www.astd.org/%20About/~/media/Files/About%20ASTD/Public%20Policy/%20BridgingtheSkillsGap2010.pdf