Education Week reporter Sean Cavanagh has an article up about the newest twist in our state science standards epic.
I spoke with Moore, who made it clear that he wasn’t making any judgment about the scientific merits of the new standards. His only interest is what the law requires, and in this case, it appears that the new science standards are out of compliance, given the requirement that such documents be approved as “Next Generation” standards. So they’d have to be approved with this designation by 2011.
It’s unclear what happens next. It’s possible, Moore explained, that Florida’s commissioner of education could seek to have various experts certify that the recently approved science standards comply with the Next Generation law. But it appears likely that new standards would have to be re-approved in some form by the state board of education.
I am still trying to track down more information on this issue. I’m currently focused on the fact that the Department of Education was under the impression that the new science standards would be considered Next Generation. You can see evidence of that on the Department of Education website. This page is titled “Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.” A 2008 Legislative Update presentation (pdf) is even more clear on page 3:
Math and reading standards adopted in 2007 and science standards adopted in 2008 are considered Next Generation.
So, my first question is: who told the Department of Education this? Then the second question is: who dropped the ball and why? Anyone who wishes to help me research this is welcome to contact me.