As RI Rolls Out Common Core, Are New Science Standards Next?

May 17, 2013

Rhode Island is one of 26 states that have promised to consider new science guidelines known as the Next Generation Science Standards. The standards were developed by the same organization that created the Common Core, a group of national standards many states including Rhode Island are now adopting for Math and English.

Rhode Island’s Board of Education is scheduled to vote next week on the common science standards. While the state already has its own set of science standards, state officials say the Next Generation Standards have a stronger emphasis on lab work and applying scientific concepts. If adopted, implementation would probably take place over the course of several years, according to the State Department of Education.

The vote comes as the standards’ developer, Achieve, is encouraging states to take their time. Education Week reports that many states are already stretched trying to bring teachers up to speed on the Common Core, and new assessments may be needed to go with the new science standards.

Rhode Island, which was one of the lead states in developing the new science standards, has been using part of its $75 million Race to the Top grant to train teachers on the Common Core. The state is also scheduled to adopt a new standardized test known as PARCC to go with the Common Core standards, starting in 2014.