New science standards prompt local control debate


January 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials are considering whether to adopt model science standards for what’s taught in the state, but critics say doing so would intrude on local school decisions. The Des Moines Register reports Iowa was one of 26 states that helped develop the national guidelines for science classes called Next Generation Science Standards. The guidelines emphasize in-depth instruction and hands-on experiments. Many experts say that’s a good approach.

But some teachers worry about sacrificing the breadth of lessons. Jill Jennings served on a state committee that reviewed the standards. She says she’s concerned that these national guidelines take control over what’s taught away from local school boards.

If the state adopts the Next Generation Science Standards, they would replace Iowa standards that have been in place since 2008.