Gov. Wolf Applauds State Board of Education for Advancing Modern Science Standards

September 09, 2020

Governor Tom Wolf applauded the State Board of Education today for advancing an update to Pennsylvania’s science education standards. Modernizing standards for how science is taught in schools is vital to the future success of students and important to strengthening Pennsylvania’s economy and creating jobs.

“Preparing students for good-paying careers in emerging industries is a major focus of my administration and I’m proud of our progress,” said Governor Wolf. “We need to provide a modern science education now so students have the skills that will be in high demand as they enter the workforce. They will be ready for great jobs that can support a middle class family and they will make Pennsylvania an attractive place for growing businesses to thrive.”

The two current science standards, Science and Technology and Environment and Ecology, were enacted in 2002. The standards are the basis for science education in schools. The state Board initiated a review last year to revise the standards and align them with current research and best practices, including a review of Next Generation Science Standards.

The Board is proposing three new standards: Pennsylvania Integrated Standards for Science, Environment, Ecology, Technology, and Engineering (Grades K-5); Pennsylvania Integrated Standards for Science, Environment and Ecology (Grades 6-12); and Pennsylvania Technology and Engineering Standards (Grades 6-12). The proposed standards will now be opened for a public comment period under the state’s regulatory review process.

As part of the review, the Department of Education held a series of stakeholder meetings to get feedback. Gov. Wolf attended one of the meetings earlier this year to thank educators, parents and businesses for sharing their input and discussed his groundbreaking PAsmart initiative which has invested $40 million in science and technology education. PAsmart has made Pennsylvania a national leader in science and computer science education with robust STEM ecosystems and a strong pipeline of graduates earning STEM degrees.

“My administration is committed to giving students the modern science education they need,” said Gov. Wolf. “I commend the Board of Education and Department of Education for their dedication to updating our science standards and the many teachers and stakeholders across the state who have helped to shape the new proposals. This is an extremely important step forward for science education in Pennsylvania.”

In 2018 the Pennsylvania Board of Education made computer science education available to all students by endorsing the Computer Science Teacher Association (CSTA) K-12 Standards at the governor’s request. Over the next decade, seven in 10 new jobs in Pennsylvania will require workers to use computers and new technologies.

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