The first of two drafts of the Next Generation Science Standards are expected to be available for public comment by late March or April. The second public draft will be available “in the third quarter” with the final version completed by December.
At this point, the Arkansas Department of Education could decide to use these national standards as they stand or add additional standards specific to Arkansas. Since Arkansas is a “lead state” and represented within the writing teams, we might presume that very little will change. [It is likely the Next Generation Science Standards will be taught in 2013-14.]
Myth: English teachers are going to be teaching science, and science teachers are going to be teaching literacy.
Fact: The Common Core State Standards include the learning of literacy skills using scientific texts. This means that some of the skills may be taught in English lessons, but may also be appropriate to include in science lessons. English teachers would not be expected to teach science standards (the current or Next Generation), but with support, teaching some literacy skills specifically related to scientific text might best be suited to the science classroom.
Myth: Science will be assessed through the PARCC Assessment.
Fact: The PARCC Assessment, which is to be piloted in 2013-14, will assess students’ math and literacy skills, but will not directly assess their skills, knowledge, and understanding of science (identified in the science standards). How science will be assessed after 2012 -13 will be determined by the Arkansas Department of Education in the future, most likely after the Next Generation Science Standards have been released in December 2012.
David Harrison, Science Curriculum Specialist
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