The following summarizes content from the state's application for Lead State Partner in 2011.
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Richard A. Ross
Primary Point of Contact: Esther Hopkins — Mathematics and Science Partnership Program Coordinator
Partner Organizations: Science Education Council of Ohio; Environmental Education Council of Ohio; Ohio Math and Science Supervisors; Ohio Math and Science Coalition; Educational Service Centers; Ohio Resource Center; eTech; Ohio STEM Learning Network; KnowledgeWorks; Battelle for Kids; Ohio Board of Regents; Ohio Academy of Sciences.
Background: In order to graduate from high school, students in Ohio are required to take three units of science, including one life science, one physical science, and one unit of advanced study in one or more of the following: chemistry, physics, or other physical science; advanced biology or other life science; astronomy, physical geology, or other earth or space science. Ohio science standards, adopted in 2003 were organized by grade band; however the 2003 standards were revised in 2010 which changed the structure to grade level with the flexibility for use as a grade band format. The revised standards are in the process of implementation, with complete transition to the revised standards to occur in 2013–14. Science is assessed in Ohio in grades 5 and 8 through the Ohio Achievement Test and in high school through the Ohio Graduation Test in Science which covers the six academic content standards: earth and space sciences, physical sciences, life sciences, science and technology, scientific inquiry, and scientific ways of knowing. The timeline of the implementation for the revised standards coincides with the release of the NGSS, and therefore Ohio expects the foundation for adoption and implementation to be in place due to the anticipated implementation of the 2009 revised standards, and can therefore be used for the NGSS.
Commitment: Ohio has shown its commitment to standards based learning through its adoption of the Common Core State Standards and its position as both a participating state in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers and an advisory state in SMARTER Balanced. Ohio is aware of the necessity to develop rigorous and relevant science standards in order to increase the quality of learning and instruction and tried to infuse this in the 2009 standards revision, and Ohio sees this work transitioning into the NGSS work. Additionally, Ohio educators and stakeholders are extremely committed to the students, for due to budget constraints during standards revision in 2009 committee members attended meetings, reviewed documents, and prepared reports with limited compensation. This illustrates dedication to education, and shows how Ohioans will go above and beyond to benefit their students.
STEM Involvement: Science education is essential to a strong economy, and Ohio is working to develop programs to enhance science and STEM education. The recent science standards revision allowed the revision committee to have opportunity to study recent advancements in science education and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) is working to integrate these findings into science education. Ohio also developed a tool entitled the Eye of Integration which supports STEM and interdisciplinary experiences, and shows interactions within different content areas. This tool could be useful for determining best practices, professional development, teacher preparation, and student instruction, and additionally could serve as a model for other states. This tool is also essential in integrating technology and engineering, environmental literacy, science applications, and universal skills into science, and relates this to core content areas such as mathematics, social studies, English, language arts, fine arts, and languages. The Ohio STEM Network is an additional resource for districts and is used for sharing, collaborating, and evaluating STEM initiatives.
Alliances and Infrastructure: There are numerous scientific organizations in Ohio which assist with ODE initiatives, and can help provide essential insight in the NGSS development, adoption, and implementation which include: Science Education Council of Ohio; Environmental Education Council of Ohio; Ohio Math and Science Supervisors; Ohio Math and Science Coalition; Educational Service Centers; Ohio Resource Center; eTech; Ohio STEM Learning Network; KnowledgeWorks; Battelle for Kids; Ohio Board of Regents; Ohio Academy of Sciences. Additionally, through a partnership with career tech, Ohio and 12 other states are members of the Southeastern Regional Education Board (SREB) program to connect and align career tech courses to the Common Core and the revised science standards. Through this program ODE has formed additional partnerships and associations with businesses and industries that could be useful with the NGSS work.
Check back soon for more information on Ohio's state team and implementation plans