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District of Columbia Ranked First in Nation for K-12 Science Standards

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
District lauded for gains in 4th,8th grade math

Washington, dc – Yesterday the Washington Examiner published a story about our Science Standards ranking number one in the country, according to a study done by Thomas B. Fordham Institute entitled, "The State of State Science Standards." The article also pointed out our gains in 4th and 8th grade math, which is just the beginning of the improvements we are hoping to see over the next few years. But as everyone in the DC education community knows, we still have long way to go.

The good news is the overall premise for our science standards is to provide students with exploratory and investigative experiences, which lead them to discovery. To help them along the way, we have created a path lit by numerous initiatives and regular oversight focused on implementing best practices and innovative capacity building strategies such as:

  • DC students receive comprehensive exposure to all areas of science, specifically: Physical Science, Life Science, and Earth Science and are encouraged to inquire about the world around them.
  • OSSE has organized a state-level team of various stakeholders to examine A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts and Core Ideas. The team meets monthly in preparation for the release of the Next Generation Science Standards. This work is a continuing effort with the Council of State Science Supervisors and Building Capacity in State Science Education.
  • OSSE is a partner in the city-wide STEM initiative and will host the Elementary STEM celebration in May.
  • In the current draft of the ESEA Flexibility Waiver, DC CAS Science is proposed to be an accountability measure starting in 2012-2013.

“Just look around, our lives are filled with new and evolving technologies, and science education is the foundation for these industries. I am proud that OSSE has taken the needed first steps toward preparing our students for the future by creating some of the most sophisticated science standards in the country,” said Hosanna Mahaley, State Superintendent of Education.

EDITORS: The complete State of Science Standards Report is available for download below or online at