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Framework for New Science Standards Coming Next Week

Stay tuned for some important news next Tuesday that could have big implications for the future of science instruction in this country.

A prominent panel of experts convened by the National Research Council is expected to issue a final framework to guide the development of what's being billed as "next generation" science standards for K-12 education.

A year ago yesterday, we published a story about the draft framework from that panel. Even as there surely will be some changes from the draft, I think it's safe to say the final document will retain the NRC's emphasis on focusing science instruction on a more-limited number of core ideas that students can learn in greater depth.

The next step is for the national nonprofit Achieve to work in collaboration with states and various experts to actually craft a set of national standards. The hope from there, as I recall from prior conversations with organizers, is that these standards will then serve as a national model for states to revise their own. However, I was cautioned last year that the development of the science standards is entirely separate from the effort to develop common-core standards in mathematics and English/language arts.

The framework is also intended to inform the work of science curriculum and assessment developers, researchers, teacher educators, and others.

Anyway, I'll have plenty more to say about the framework and the new standards in coming days. But I wanted to give a quick heads-up for next week.

The NRC offers a helpful overview of the process that's worth checking out.

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