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Lessons on State Adoptions of the Next Generation Science Standards

In an ongoing effort to help states navigate the process of reviewing, adopting, and implementing the Next Generation Science Standards, the National Association of State Boards of Education released a short report today profiling the efforts of five states and the District of Columbia in this area. 

The report looks at the states that received $4,000 stipends from NASBE last year to help with their science standards work. Arkansas, Delaware, Kentucky, New Jersey, West Virginia, and D.C., were all either considering adopting the standards or had recently adopted them and were working on policies related to implementation. Those states and D.C. have by now all adopted the standards—Arkansas did so most recently. 

The states used some common strategies for moving toward NGSS adoption and implementation, which the report says can be a long and complex process. Those include:

  • Having a communication strategy. The states used "face-to-face meetings, larger 'summit' meetings, and messaging through print, web-based communications, and videos" to reach out to educators and constituents. 
  • Making connections to other education policies. The state boards recognized "that science standards are related to other policies, such as those for teacher and leader preparation, evaluation, and assessment."
  • Making the standards part of a vision for the state's future. "The state boards realized that the K-12 system is linked to the state's overall vision for citizenship and economic productivity," the report says.

NASBE also released a guide in April to help states determine whether or not they're ready to adopt and implement the new science standards.

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