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Delaware Becomes Seventh State to Adopt Common Science Standards

The state board of education in Delaware, by a 6-0 vote, adopted the Next Generation Science Standards, bringing to seven the number of states to do so since they were finalized in April. One board member was absent.

Delaware was among the 26 state lead state partners to help craft the K-12 science standards in collaboration with several national organizations.

The six other states to adopt the standards so far include California, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

"The Next Generation Science Standards provide clear and consistent, research-based standards that engage students in science instruction that will prepare them to utilize critical thinking and creative problem-solving necessary to excel in the global society," said state board President Teri Quinn Gray in a news release.

The state education department will now work with educators to develop a "multiyear implementation plan" for the standards, the release said.

Key elements of the standards include providing a greater emphasis on depth over breadth in science education and asking students to apply their learning through the practices of scientific inquiry and engineering design.

The standards have drawn some criticism, including objections to how they handle the issues of evolution and climate change, as well as a broader argument that they inappropriately favor scientific practices at the expense of sufficient emphasis on core content knowledge.

Although the state board of education in Kentucky voted unanimously to adopt them, a legislative review panel in that state recently voted 5-1 against the standards as crafted. In the end, however, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear signaled that Kentucky would move forward with implementation of the standards.

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