New Science Standards
The State Board of Education adopted the new science standards on Tuesday, November 10th, 2015. This is huge news for school districts, teachers, universities, and other organizations. Note that the standards are called Michigan Science Standards (MiSS for short) and not Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). They adopted portions of the NGSS with modifications. If they adopted NGSS in its entirety then there would have been less flexibility for state-level changes. Similar to shifts that happen when the Common Core Readiness Standards were adopted for Math, there will be shifts in the science standards as well. This will be discussed more below.
Every 5-7 years the science curriculum goes under review and possible changes. Since 2006, we have had the same standards and our test results have been abysmal. Majority of the this issue come from
About the Standards
Based upon the Framework for K-12 Science Education, the new standards are really a set of performance expectations. These performance expectations incorporate three main elements:
The first question most districts have is when they will be held accountable for the new standards. MDE has responded with the following:
What does this mean for school districts?
Accountability for the standards seems to be far away at the moment with full implementation on the statewide assessment in 2019-20. Districts cannot sit back and wait for these changes to happen. Educators and Administrators need to start implementing these new standards and practices as soon as they can where it is appropriate.
With new standards being adopted, textbook companies will be acting quick to "re-align" their curriculum so they can put "NGSS Aligned" on their textbooks. This may not happen immediately but as more states adopt NGSS or portions of it, companies are going to try to take advantage as soon as possible. Please go through full curriculum reviews prior to purchasing any new curriculum.