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New Science Standards to Face First State Vote Today, in Rhode Island

The Next Generation Science Standards are about to face their first real political test since completion, as the state board of education in Rhode Island is expected to vote on adoption later today. That said, it appears to be a pretty safe bet that the Ocean State's board will look favorably on them, as I blogged the other day.

Rhode Island is one of the 26 "lead state partners" that helped to develop the standards. Two other states that have signaled that they would likely vote on adoption this spring include Kentucky and Maine. (As I reported earlier this year, don't be surprised if some states beyond the lead partners also adopt.)

Even before a single state adopted the new K-12 standards, however, conversations and activity was getting underway to help support implementation. In a two-part special package from Education Week, I examined some of those issues. The first segment offered a big-picture look at key issues, including professional development and teacher education, assessment, and curriculum and instruction. Also in that first part, I explored the role that the "informal science education" sector (such as zoos, science museums, radio programs etc.) can play as an implementation ally.

In the second segment, I focus on some early examples of educators who already have been grappling with the standards, as well as the standards framework developed by the National Research Council. These teachers, scattered around the country, have been engaged in professional development to better understand the vision for science education espoused by the NRC framework and the standards, and have started to bring that understanding to their classrooms.

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