Friday, 17 December, 2010

Update on Conceptual Framework for New Science Standards

Over the last year, a committee at the National Research Council has been developing a framework to guide new science education standards. Triangle Coalition, along with many of our members, has been involved with providing feedback to the National Academy of Sciences, Board on Science Education on the project’s draft. Below is an update from the committee chair, Helen Quinn on the progress of the framework.

As the committee nears completion of the framework, Triangle Coalition will continue to work with the committee and include our members in the ongoing development process. Stay tuned for more information to come in the new year.


Dear Colleague,

We are writing to update you on the status of our project “Conceptual Framework to Guide the Development of Next Generation Standards for K-12 Science Education”. The authoring committee is hard at work revising the framework based on the extensive and thoughtful feedback received during the July public comment period. Once the committee has carefully considered all of the feedback and completed its revisions, the revised framework will undergo a confidential external review by a group of independent experts selected by the National Research Council. The report will be released once it has cleared this rigorous external review process.

At this point, we anticipate releasing the Framework in spring of 2011.

Background on the Framework:

The Framework is the first step in a process for revising existing standards in K-12 science education. In the second step, Achieve, Inc., an independent, bipartisan, non-profit education reform organization that works closely with states will develop a full set of internationally-benchmarked standards based on the Framework. The Framework will also be available for immediate use by states, curriculum and assessment developers, and leaders of professional development for teachers. Both efforts; creating a framework and developing standards based on this framework, have been funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

The Framework is being developed by a committee of 18 experts convened by the NRC. The committee members are all unpaid volunteers and represent expertise in the natural sciences, engineering, learning sciences, learning and teaching, curriculum, assessment, and education policy.

The Framework describes the major ideas and practices in the natural sciences and engineering that all students should be familiar with by the end of high school. The Framework is designed to help realize a vision for education in the natural sciences in which students actively engage in science practices in order to deepen their understanding of core ideas in science over multiple years of school. This new vision of the key ideas and practices students should learn is vital as science influences virtually every decision a person makes today and is a key component of innovation, which drives U.S. competitiveness and economic growth.

As the Framework is not a set of fully elaborated standards, it does not include an articulation of the ideas and practices at every grade level. Instead, it offers assumptions only at some key grade level “anchor points” and provides a few examples of performance expectations to serve as illustrations for standards development.

We thank you for your interest.


Helen Quinn, Chair
Labels: National standards, STEM Education

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