Montana Joins Effort to Write Next Generation Science Standards

Tuesday, November 29, 2011
By Allyson Hagen

Montana Joins Effort to Write Next Generation Science Standards

Helena, MT—Superintendent Denise Juneau announced today that Montana is joining 25 other states to begin the writing process of the Next Generation Science Standards. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is a shared effort that will clearly define the content and practices all students will need to learn from kindergarten through high school graduation.

Superintendent Juneau stated, "We know that many of the jobs of tomorrow are going to require our students to have a solid background in science, technology, engineering and math, and we need to make sure their education in our public schools is preparing them for higher education and to compete for jobs in a global economy."

American students continue to lag internationally in science education, making them less competitive for the jobs of the present and the future. A recent U.S. Department of Commerce study shows that over the past 10 years, growth in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) jobs was three times greater than that of non-STEM jobs. The report also shows that STEM jobs are expected to continue to grow at a faster rate than other jobs in the coming decade.

Partnering with the states are the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve, who is facilitating the collaboration.

The 26 state partners will guide the standards writing process, gather and deliver feedback from state-level committees and come together to address common issues and challenges. Montana's committee will be made up of approximately 30 members, including K-12 and post-secondary educators, business and industry representatives, state agencies and non-profits.

Continued Juneau, "This is an opportunity for Montana to ensure the voices of rural states and their unique challenges are at the table as these new science standards are developed. We are looking forward to bringing a diverse group of stakeholders together to provide feedback on the future of science education."

States included in this effort include: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia. These 26 states represent more than 50 percent of the nation's students.

The NGSS should be completed by the end of 2012.

For more information, visit the Next Generation Science Standards website at


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