Are We Replacing the Common Core State Standards?

On December 7 and 8, educators gathered at Gardiner High School, Falmouth High School, and Massabesic High School for regional Science Framework Dine and Discuss events hosted by the Maine Science Teachers Association and the Maine Department of Education.  Attendance was great and conversation was lively. During those sessions and in e-mail correspondence educators have asked about the relationship between the Common Core State Standards and the Science Framework and Next Generation Science Standards. One email came from an educator in SAD 20.  He has graciously agreed to let me share that conversation.
GARRETT:   Good evening, I’m curious why Maine has elected to begin a separate initiative to develop new K-12 science standards when we have already begun work on the Common Core State Standards initiative. Common Core will begin work on science standards shortly. I’m currently a 9-12 social studies teacher and chair of the department at MSAD 20 in Fort Fairfield. While I have only been teaching seven years, I see the largest challenge facing our district, this state, and this country as our inability to maintain focus on a consistent initiative that will benefit students. Common Core has the potential to greatly improve education in this nation, because it is written by teachers and for teachers. For too long, special interests have controlled education policy within states and I see this decision to pursue a separate set of standards as a move back in this direction. Please don’t derail the Common Core process. It has the potential to really benefit students, because of its comprehensive approach to student learning.
Sincerely and respectfully, Garrett B. Martin
ANITA:  Thank you for your VERY important question.  The development of the Next Generation Science Standards IS expected lead to science standards that are commonly adopted by states.  These standards will add to and complement the work of the Common Core State Standards that has already been completed for Mathematics and English Language Arts but NOT for science.  Please get involved. I encourage you to attend the Dine and Discuss Session in Aroostook County and to visit and follow the SciTech Framework Blog.  I hope that you will share this information with many other educators. Thank you for taking the time to write.
GARRET:  Thank you, Anita. I have another follow-up question. I believe it is the SMARTER Balanced Consortia that will be building the Common Core assessments. Who will be designing assessment to meet the new science standards? Will there be a new and separate test that Maine students will have to take for science assessment?  Thanks, Garrett.
ANITA:  Eventually there will be assessments.  First, Achieve and the Lead States must develop the standards.  Once the Next Generation Science Standards are developed and adopted, I think it is quite likely that we will see states come together in consortia to develop science assessments aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards.  Just as there has been with Common Core State Standards, state will require  a lag time of two or more years between the adoption of new standards and the development of assessments aligned to them.
There are ELEVEN more K-12 Science Framework Dine and Discuss Events scheduled for January. Please register online today at

Scheduled events dates and locations:

January 11, 2012

Washington Academy, 4:00 – 6:30 PM, 66 High Street, East Machias, ME 04630

Oxford Hill Comprehensive High School, 5:00 – 7:30PM, 256 Main Street, ME 04281

January 12, 2012

Camden Hills Regional High School, 4:00 – 6:30 PM, 25 Keelson Drive, Rockport, ME 04856

January 17, 2012

Wiscasset High School, 4:00 – 6:30 PM, 272 Gardiner Road, Wiscasset, ME 05478

Kennebunk Elementary School, 4:00 – 6:30 PM, 177 Alewive Road, Kennebunk, ME 04043

Mount Blue Middle School, 4:00 – 6:30 PM, 269 Middle Street, Farmington, ME 04938

January 18, 2012

Albert S Hall Elementary School, 4:30 – 7:00 PM, 27 Pleasant Street, Waterville, ME 04901

Bangor High School, 4:00 – 6:30 PM, 885 Broadway, Bangor, ME 04401

January 26, 2012 

King Middle School, 4:00 -6:30 PM, 92 Deering Avenue, Portland, ME 04102

Auburn Land Lab, 5:00-7:30 PM, 15 Andrew Drive, Auburn, ME 04210

January 27, 2012

Presque Isle Middle School, 4:00-6:30 PM, 569 Skyway Street, Presque Isle, ME 04769


Foxcroft Academy

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