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Progress to Modernize Science Education Standards Continues as Content Team Announced

May 06, 2020

Governor Tom Wolf announced the progress continues on updating Pennsylvania’s science education standards. The Department of Education (PDE) today briefed the State Board of Education and identified 60 education professionals to serve as content experts to draft the new standards. A draft of the revised benchmarks will be publicly available this fall.

The state board initiated the review last year to revise the standards and align them with current research and best practices, including a review of Next Generation Science Standards.

“Science is a vital part of our educational system and an integral component in a changing economy,” Governor Wolf said. “My administration has been making significant investments in science education through PAsmart, and we must modernize science standards so students have the knowledge and skills for good careers in emerging industries.”

Science standards serve as the basis for curriculum development and instruction in schools. Currently, the state Board of Education regulations include two sets of standards related to science – Science and Technology and Environment and Ecology.

“The Wolf administration recognizes that expanding access to computer science and STEM education is critical for preparing our students for an ever-changing workforce, and that updating science standards is an important part of this initiative,” said Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera.

As part of its review, PDE held a series of 12 public meetings engaging more than 900 stakeholders earlier this year to receive feedback from educators, parents and other community members. A detailed report of all stakeholder input was compiled to inform the recommendations of the committee drafting the new standards.

“Hearing directly from educators, parents and other individuals at public meetings is essential to helping the board develop new standards,” said Board Chairperson Karen Farmer White. “We look forward to receiving the recommendations from the committees as the next step in this priority project.”

The department also sought volunteer content experts to serve on the committee drafting the new standards. The board today approved 60 education professionals to serve on the Content Committee and an additional 18 individuals to serve on a Steering Committee to work in tandem with the Content Committee.

View a list of committee members.

As part of his commitment to science and technology education, the governor launched the innovative PAsmart initiative to support K-12 computer science and STEM education, registered apprenticeships, and job training.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs, please visit the Department of Education’s website or follow PDE on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

View this information in Spanish.

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