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Common Core paves way for national science standards

With most states already instituting mathematics and liberal arts Common Core standards, 26 states recently announced an initiative to develop K-12 science standards. 

The initiative, called Next Generation Science Standards, will define the subjects and practices that all students need to be learning, starting from kindergarten. NGSS launched in September with 20 states participating, and these states were recently joined by six more from across the nation, including Delaware, Illinois and Oregon.

States that have partnered in this initiative educate more than 50 percent of America’s students. Michael Cohen, president of non-profit education reform organization, Achieve, said, “Their collaboration with the leading voices on science and science education will produce a set of rigorous standards that will provide students with a complete science foundation and prepare them to be college- and career-ready."

The science standards will hopefully also create more interest in the subject. India and China graduate nearly one million engineers every year, trouncing the 120,000 engineers the United States graduates annually, according to Kansas State University newspaper the Collegian.

A study conducted by Georgetown University professors found that even those who do graduate with science majors often take jobs in industries like finance. This may be due to the drop in employment opportunities in science-related fields during the recession. However, the study also predicted there will be 2.4 million science-related job vacancies between 2008 and 2018, with nearly all of them well-paid positions.