A Short History of NMAS Involvement in Science Education Standards
In 1996 NMAS objected to Science Standards adopted by the NM State School Board that were influenced by Creationists and that eliminated facts about evolution. In the following years, NMAS provided testimony to NM legislators and State Board of Education members concerning the science of evolution. By 1999, the New Mexico State School Board of Education adopted new State-developed Science standards including evolution, defeating Creationists and Pro-Intelligent Design advocates.
In 2003 the NM Science Standards were designated for a state-wide review process. NMAS members participated in field reviews, soliciting community support they participated in the writing teams for creating NM Science supporting the National Science Education Standards (NSES). (The NSES were developed by the National Academies of Science.) The NM Public Education Department adopted these scientifically accurate standards, based on NSES, in part due to the leadership of NMAS and community scientists and engineers.
It was also in 2003 that NMAS successfully lobbied for stopping a public television KNME transmission of an anti-evolution Intelligent Design inspired documentary, and testified before the local Rio Rancho School Board in favor of eliminating anti-evolution language in local district’s Science Standards. Rio Rancho acted on the NMAS advice.
The National Academies of Science Board on Science Education recognized the need to update the 1996 NSES, because science and technology were changing at such a rapid pace that it was not possible to predict what students would need to know as adults. In April 2013 the final version of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) was released nation-wide. The new Science Standards were a cooperative effort of National Academies of Science, American Association for Advancement of Science, National Science Foundation, and National Research Center. From 2013 thru 2018, NMAS supported Next Generation Science Standards NGSS with testimony at state government legislative hearings and for Public Education Department PED administrators. NMAS recruited local and state professional science organizations to join the effort to adopt NGSS.
In 2018 the New Mexico Public Education Department finally approved NGSS inserting six additional New Mexico Specific Science Standards. These combined documents are named The NM STEM Ready Science Standards and apply to all NM students and educators.
NMAS Actions Supporting NGSS:
- NMAS Statement for Public Hearing
- NMAS Support Letter of NGSS to Ms. Hanna Skandera, Secretary of Education, New Mexico Public Education Department
- NMAS Request Letter to Business Leaders to Support Adoption of NGSS
- NMAS and NGSS Connections 2019 Inspire Learning Lounge presentation (courtesy of Malva Knoll)
Resources on Science and Science Education in New Mexico
For Educators & Students of all levels:
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Deadline October 8, 2021
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The Academy honors two outstanding educators each year at the annual NMAS symposium/meeting with an engraved plaque, a monetary award provided by ACS, and classroom materials. Awards will be given virtually this year at the NMAS Annual Meeting on Friday November 12, 2021.
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