The state Board of Education on Tuesday adopted a new set of academic standards for science.
The standards are a product of more than a year of work by a committee of more than 60 members, said Tiffany Neill, the state Education Department’s director of science education.
The academic standards lay out subjects students in each grade level are expected to have mastered. They don’t dictate what curriculum districts should use to reach those thresholds, meaning decisions about how the standards should be taught are left up to local districts and teachers.
The standards are separate from the Common Core standards that have drawn fire among conservative groups and in the Oklahoma Legislature. The Common Core standards address math and English, but don’t include standards for science.
During a meeting Tuesday, Neill told the board the state’s science assessments won’t be aligned to the new standards until the 2016-17 academic year, meaning districts will have time to tailor their instruction to match them. Education officials will begin working next year with districts to implement the standards.
During Tuesday’s meeting, state schools Superintendent Janet Barresi praised the committee for its efforts.
“I think these are going to be noted throughout the country in terms of the quality and the way they’re done,” Barresi said.