Back in May, the State Board of Education talked for a few minutes about the state’s science standards woes. The science standards developed and approved in 2008 simply aren’t the best. I provided a lengthy summary of what the Board decided to do, even though that decision was rather hazy.
There are currently 23 states joining together to create a set of Next Generation Science Standards. We here at Florida Citizens for Science have been encouraging the DoE and State Board to join that effort. It appears that Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson at least partly agrees. His recommendation to the Board is to temporarily patch up our state standards while waiting for the national standards effort to produce a final product. The Board could then consider at that time adopting the National Standards in place of our state standards.
During the meeting, the Board seemed to go along with this recommendation. Bridge to Tomorrow also discussed the temporary patch job and reminds us that the next time the Board is expected to talk about this is Monday and Tuesday, July 16-17 (however, I don’t see any mention of this subject on the meeting agendas).
So, I’m feeling might confused by what I read in a story today in the Tampa Bay Times. Educators aim to excite students in science.
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a national education think tank in Washington, D.C., found Florida’s standards did a good job at the primary level. But they were weak in the higher grades as a result of “poor organization, ambiguous statements and basic errors,” the report said.
More criticism has followed since the recent release of results on a national science test for eighth-graders that showed Florida lagging behind the national average.
The findings have some local education advocates calling for the state to join the national effort to develop Common Core State Standards in science.
Florida Department of Education officials, however, recommend sticking with plans to adopt the state’s Next Generation Science Standards in 2013-14.
“A lot of assessments and curriculum are already built around it,” said Gerry Meisels, director of the Coalition for Science Literacy at the University of South Florida.
It would be too costly, officials said, to rewrite instructional materials and retrain teachers — especially since the two standards are so similar.
“And, frankly,” said Meisels, a chemistry professor who helped write Florida’s standards, “teachers and students need some stability. You can’t keep changing things every year.”
What? Does this mean that someone in Tallahassee changed the May recommendation decision? Can y’all help me figure out what is going on here?