Often, the loudest voices get the most attention in a debate. For instance, there’s organized, motivated opposition to Iowa’s adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Common Core State Standards.
But the loudest voice doesn’t always represent the majority.
Data gathered from an Iowa Department of Education team reviewing the state’s science education standards indicates there’s strong, if not overwhelming, support for adoption of the NGSS as a base for revised Iowa standards – the base concepts K-12 students will need to grasp to advance and graduate.
Significantly, much of the support comes from the state’s teachers and administrators – the people who will have to implement the framework while applying their own judgment and expertise.
Even at four forums around the state, where you might expect opponents to come out in force, the number of speakers in favor appears to outnumber those speakers opposed. (Although, at least at the meeting I attended, only a fraction of those present actually addressed the education officials.)
The review team was established under a governor’s executive order, which directed the education department to review all the state’s standards, now called the Iowa Core. Over the last month the review team has gathered comments from parents, teachers, administrators, and others via a survey and the forums.
On Thursday the review team met to review the comments and survey results. After they got them, I got them. Now you can read them, too – if you care to invest the time.