The Georgia Board of Education took up the final adoption of the proposed science and social studies Standards of Excellence in their March 31st meeting today. Five individuals testified in favor of the revised science standards including Dr. Mark Farmer, Patricia DuBose, representatives from the Georgia Science Teachers Association, the Captain Planet Foundation, the University of Georgia, Georgia State University, and other stakeholders in the science community. After testimony was heard, the Board moved to adopt the draft science standards and they were approved unanimously. See below for the official press release from DOE, including links to the approved standards.
As a result of the substantial outreach that the Board of Education and State School Superintendent Richard Woods received on the recent changes to the social studies standards of excellence, the Board voted to postpone the vote on the standards to the May 5th meeting so that the social studies standards advisory group can reconvene on April 21st and evaluate the changes and the feedback they received. Also of note, both House and Senate Education Chairmen Brooks Coleman and Lindsey Tippins attended the board meeting to speak to the board about the 2016 legislative session. The Chairmen reviewed some of the major legislation that came before their committees, including SB 364.
State Board of Education approves new science standards
March 31, 2016 – The State Board of Education has approved the first Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) for science, which will be implemented during the 2017-18 school year following a full year of teacher training. The new standards were developed based on public feedback from teachers, parents and families, students, business and industry, and community members, who shared their input through survey opportunities and committee participation. Following that, the standards were posted for a 60-day public comment period, which ran from January 15 to March 14, 2016. View a summary of changes here.
“These standards were developed based on feedback from the public – from teachers, students, parents, business and industry leaders, higher education representatives, and other concerned citizens,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “We are grateful for the thousands of Georgians who took the time to review the proposed standards and share their opinions – they have helped us create appropriate standards with ample time available for teacher training.”
“The standards review process is intended to give educators, parents, and other stakeholders an opportunity to express their concerns, and changes were made on the basis of their responses,” State Board Chair Mike Royal said. “As a result, these new science standards are a direct response to the needs of Georgia’s students.”
As part of the process of the review that produced the new standards, science teachers across the state were asked to provide feedback for every single standard and element in their grade level or high school course. The science surveys drew more than 9,000 teachers, with participation from every school district. Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs) assisted in development of the survey, and the University System of Georgia provided a third-party analysis of the survey results.
Students, parents and families, business and industry, and community members were also invited to provide feedback on the existing standards through an additional survey. SEDL, an affiliate of American Institutes for Research, assisted in management of this survey, and Georgia State University provided a third-party analysis of the results.
Survey results were used by practicing Georgia science teachers to guide revisions made to the existing standards. Advisory and academic committees also took part in the revision; these included district-level instructional leaders, parents, and representatives from business and industry, Georgia’s university and technical college systems, nonprofit organizations and other education-related state agencies.
The proposed standards were then posted for 60 days of public comment. Following that period, committee members reconvened to review the survey data and make recommendations by grade level and high school course. During the time public comment was open, the GaDOE received 5,098 responses to the science survey.
A note regarding social studies: the State Board of Education tabled the social studies standards so they could go back to the committee members to discuss some of the modifications/clarifications made after the committee’s vote.
Supporting Documents – Science:
Georgia Standards of Excellence – Science
Science – Board Item
Science – Crosswalk