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CWA of Iowa Review of the Next Generation Science Standards

By October 18, 2013Iowa
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CWA of Iowa Review of the Next Generation Science Standards Task Force meeting held at the Science Center of Iowa on October 16, 2013.

The meeting was the last one in three to review the Next Generation Science Standards.

The State Department of Education did not bring in one speaker who opposed the Next Generation Science Standards. How can this be an objective decision when both sides were not clearly presented?

Costs of Assessments were addressed. The current cost of Iowa Test of Basic Skills, which is a fixed form test is $3.50/student. Students are tested in 5th, 8th, and 11th grades. There are approximately 37,000 students per grade in Iowa. This equates to Iowa school districts spending $388,500 for students to be tested in Science. The NGSS fixed form test will cost approximately $25-27/student in 5th, 8th and 11th grades or a total of $2,775,000. The taxpayers of Iowa would be footing most of the bill.

The Task force released a state-wide survey on September 17 and the results of that survey were just released to the task force members the day before the meeting, so how did each task force member have time to review each of the comments from the survey. Survey results.

By the end of the day, 20 of the 28 members who were present in the meeting were asked to make their recommendation to the State Board of Education.

The questions the task force were presented with were:

Do you recommend the adoption of the Next Generation Standards?

  • a) Yes with no reservations
  • b) Yes with reservations
  • c) No

The results were as follows

and one abstained from voting.

To roll out our Science Standards we need to address the following

  • a) Develop teacher skills and local curriculum to optimize implementation
  • b) Engage business and community recommendations
  • c) Upgrade classrooms
  • d) Develop a comprehensive assessment system that improve students outcomes
  • e) Other

The answers were as follows


In her statement, Yvette McCulley, Science Consultant of the Iowa Dept. of Education, was pleased with the outcome of the task force. She felt that the majority of the task force thinks the Next Generation Science Standards are best for our Iowa children.

The State board will accept one-page reports from each of the task force members who had reservations with the adoption of these standards.

No date is set for the State Board decision on accepting the recommendation from the task force.

Review presented by:
Denise Bubeck
State Outreach Coordinator