. "NRC and the National Standards for Science Education." Improving Student Learning in Mathematics and Science: The Role of National Standards in State Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1997.
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Improving Student Learning in Mathematics and Science: The Role of National Standards in State Policy
affiliates who could engage in support for the mathematics standards, the Center needed its own unique strategy for supporting the science standards. That strategy, which takes advantage of the Center's position within the NRC as well as lessons learned from the NCTM experience with national standards, is elaborated in a general way in the Strategic Framework discussed earlier in this report. Within the Strategic Framework, the Center's focus has been on building awareness of the NRC Standards and support for their use throughout the country.
Dissemination of the NRC Standards has taken many forms. The document was immediately available on the World Wide Web.9 After the January 1996 publication, the NRC sent copies to all members of Congress, governors, state science and technology policy advisors, state science supervisors, NSF-funded systemic initiatives, and directors of Annenberg Challenge Sites. Following the Education Summit hosted by national business leaders in March 1996 that endorsed the need for common, clear, state and/or community-based standards, the Center provided copies of the NRC Standards to participating governors and chief executive officers along with a letter that linked the Education Summit's recommendations with the NRC Standards.
The NRC Standards have been distributed to members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, and leadership of all professional organizations for science education, including the AAAS, American Association of Physics Teachers, American Chemical Society, Council of State Science Supervisors, National Association of Biology Teachers, National Association of Geology Teachers, and NSTA. This effort had the specific goal of informing the scientific and educational communities of the NRC Standards.
As of June 1997, over 131,000 copies of the NRC Standards had been distributed. To further dissemination efforts, the Center recently produced a brochure, Introducing the National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1997a), that describes what is in the NRC Standards and addresses typical questions about the Standards. In the months since the brochure's publication, nearly 10,000 copies have been distributed.
Dissemination of the NRC Standards document has been complemented by presentations about the Standards. Over 400 presentations were made to approximately 33,000 people by approximately 100 presenters before the actual release of the Standards. Hundreds more presentations have been made since. In the fall of 1995, before the release, a series of ten regional workshops was hosted by the Center for science education leaders throughout the country. The workshops initiated a Speakers' Bureau to support participants in their efforts to disseminate the NRC Standards in their own communities. The Center assembled a presentation guide from the material shared in those workshops and distributed the guide to the 375 people who attended.
The Center has worked closely with many other groups to disseminate the NRC Standards. With NRC assistance, the NSTA launched the "Building a Presence in Every School" project. The goal of this project is to place a copy of the NRC Standards in every school in the country, supported by a resource teacher within the school and a state-wide network. This program was initiated in Texas, with support from the Exxon Education Foundation. The NSTA continues to add states and sponsors to this highly ambitious effort. Other special audiences targeted for dissemination initiatives include commercial publishers of science instructional materials and parents. A convocation for publishers was held at the NAS in June 1996 to brief them on the NRC Standards and discuss ways their materials could support standards-based teaching and learning. The Center is currently producing a publication