July 19, 2017 | Education Week

How States Can Boost Science Learning, Thanks to ESSA

Science education advocates are among those cheering the new federal education law known as the Every Student Succeeds Act: It’s an opportunity to get science on the radar screen in a way they couldn’t under ESSA’s predecessor.

The former law didn’t count science tests towards anything, thereby relegating the subject, in many advocates’ eyes, to second-tier status. But under ESSA, states have a lot more flexibility to emphasize science in particular, and more generally, content in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

I know you’re probably thinking: Groan, do I have to read all those hundreds of pages of ESSA plans?

But fortunately for you (and your grateful blogger), there are plenty of folks who’ve been combing these and pulling out the good stuff. Both Achieve, a key partner helping states improve the rigor of their courses, and Education First, a consulting group, released briefs recently that outline what states plan to do—and where the opportunities lie for them to improve their plans.

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