The Future of Science Education in California: The Promise of the Next Generation of Science Standards for Students and Communities
OAKLAND, CA (June 7, 2013) With demand for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) jobs to exceed 1 million by 2018, California needs to prepare more students in STEM fields now if it is to keep the state globally competitive. In particular, California must prepare its low-income, Latino, African-American, and English learner students to successfully access and master rigorous science standards. These students constitute the majority of the state’s population yet have historically had inadequate access to rigorous coursework and instruction.
Later this year, California policymakers will decide whether to adopt a new set of science standards, called the Next Generation Science Standards, or NGSS. The NGSS not only reflect the major advances in science of the last two decades, they also focus strongly on teaching students the practices that scientists and engineers use to apply the knowledge of science to solving real-world problems. The standards promise to deepen students’ conceptual understanding, critical thinking, and communication skills. The resulting rigorous science education will allow every student to graduate from high school better prepared to successfully negotiate the rigors of college and 21st century careers.
The promise of the NGSS will only be realized if California’s leaders make the decision to adopt them. We urge you to express your support. For more about these standards and how you can be involved, please see our latest report, The Future of Science Education in California:The Promise of the Next Generation Science Standards for Students and Communities, which we have produced in collaboration with our partners: The California STEM Learning Network and Children Now.