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Crystal Greene, 503-947-5650

November 29, 2011

Oregon to Help Lead Work on Next Generation Science Standards

Oregon joins states from around the country in development of national science standards

(Salem, Ore.) – Today State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo announced that Oregon has been selected to help lead the development of national science standards. Oregon is one of 26 lead states which will develop the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)—a set of rigorous, national science standards aligned with college- and career-ready expectations.

“We know that in order for our students to be ready to compete in the 21st century workplace, they need to have a strong foundation in the sciences,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo. “Scientific literacy is critical not just to our students’ futures but to the economic prosperity of Oregon and the nation, so it is fitting that states from around the country are coming together to lead this work. Oregon’s involvement in this development process will help ensure the resulting standards meet the needs of Oregon’s students and teachers while providing the rigorous science foundation we know our students need and deserve.”

The development of the Next Generation Science Standards is a two-step process. The first step was completed in July 2011 with the release of A Framework for K-12 Science Education by the National Research Council. The framework identifies the core ideas and practices in natural sciences and engineering that all students should know by the time they graduate. It was developed by a committee representing expertise in science, teaching and learning, curriculum, assessment, and education policy.

The second step is the development of science standards based on the Framework. The 26 state partners will guide the standards writing process, gather and deliver feedback from state-level committees, and come together to address common issues and challenges. The states also agree to commit staff time to the initiative and, upon completion, give serious consideration to adopting the Next Generation Science Standards. States submitted a letter with the signature of the Chief State School Officer and the chair of the State Board of Education as part of their application.

“Last year, Oregon joined over 45 other states in adopting the Common Core State Standards, raising the bar with national learning expectations for English Language Arts and Mathematics,” said Superintendent Castillo. “I am excited we are now engaged in the work of developing national, college- and career-ready science standards aligned with the Common Core.”

Drafts of the science standards will be made available for public input at least twice during the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) development process. The NGSS should be completed by the end of 2012.

Oregon joins the following 25 states in this shared development process: Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia. Partnering with the states are the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve, who is facilitating the collaboration.

For more information, visit the Next Generation Science Standards website at: www.nextgenscience.org.

Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Christine Miles, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5637

Oregon Department of Education News Releases contain information that was originally released to the press as an official release.  Refer to each News Release for the details.

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Salem, OR 97310-0203

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