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Iowa Next Generation Science Standards Task Force Votes to Approve

October 16, 2013 2 Comments

A popular attraction for kids when visiting the Science Center of Iowa, and pictures perfectly my frustration with the NGSS process – a silent scream!

I left the Next Generation Science Standards task force meeting at the Science Center of Iowa in Des Moines early.  I didn’t think there was going to be a vote taken today.  I was wrong.

A friend called me and this is how the vote broke down:

  • 11 members voted to approve without reservations.
  • 7 members voted to approve with reservations.
  • 1 member voted no.
  • 1 member abstained.

There were some members missing so apparently Iowa Department of Education officials will be contacting them to receive their vote.  Members who have reservations can submit a one page report to submit to the board explaining why they have reservations.  Apparently there will be a follow-up meeting to discuss that in November.

Some brief thoughts (a guest post by mom and former teacher who was present will be forthcoming):  The meetings were a farce.  The Department handpicked people to speak who lead people down the process to approve the Next Generation Science Standards.  Members did not hear from anyone who was opposed (at the meetings, not necessarily in between).

I did hear asinine statements from Iowa Department of Education officials like:

  • “Governors wrote the Common Core” – really?  That’s news to me.  I’m sure David Coleman would be surprised to hear that.
  • Spending $22.50 (minimum for Smarter Balanced) is ok to spend per student per assessment since other states are already spending more.  Wow, that’s a winning argument.

We can also look forward to assessments to go along with the science standards – yay, more money, more testing.

Anyway, totally not surprised by this.  This just further reinforces my belief that elected legislators should decide standards after getting an inside peek into this process.

Update: I learned that six members were not present and that State Senator Amy Sinclair was one of them.  Hopefully that will mean two no votes (not that it matters much).

Filed in: Iowa Ed News, NGSS News • Tags: Iowa Core Science Standards,

About the Author: Shane Vander Hart

Shane Vander Hart founded Iowans for Local Control in 2012. Shane also is the founder and editor-in-chief of Caffeinated Thoughts and the founder and president of 4:15 Communications, LLC, a social media & communications consulting/management firm.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook or follow him on Twitter and Google +.
  • alvin691

    This nation is going down the tubes. This is what we deserve.

  • Matt Townsley

    Hi Shane,

    I thought I’d add a point of clarification for other readers who might also like to know more information related to the comment you heard about the authors of the common core.

    You’re correct, governors did not write the common core state standards (which are different from the NGSS). As you are likely aware, the common core state standards (primarily math & literacy) were initiated by the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers (Source: The actual names of the authors are likely available online as well. I believe Achieve was involved, too. (Source:

    My understanding is that the NGSS movement was initiated by a different group: National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve (Source: NGSS authors are listed on their website