State Board Approves New Tennessee Science Standards

Friday, October 14, 2016 | 10:04am

NASHVILLE – The State Board of Education voted unanimously on final reading to approve new, Tennessee-specific academic standards for science.

A comprehensive, transparent public review led by the Standards Recommendation Committee (SRC), whose members were appointed by the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House of Representatives and confirmed by the General Assembly. The new K-12 Tennessee Academic Standards for Science were then heard on first reading at the July 2016 State Board of Education meeting.

These rigorous standards set grade-specific goals for what students are expected to know and be able to do by the end of a given grade or course.

“These new Tennessee-specific science standards will aid in Tennessee’s continued drive to make sure all students are postsecondary and workforce ready,” said Fielding Rolston, chairman of the State Board of Education. “We thank all those who took part in the public review process that helped craft these new standards.”

An initial online review period brought in 29, 474 reviews. A committee of Tennessee science educators analyzed each individual standard to update or revise them based on the public feedback and their classroom expertise.

The revised draft standards were then posted for a second public comment period in the spring of 2016. Following that public review, the science SRC examined the revised standards and gathered additional feedback from regional meetings and roundtables with educators and parents.

 “This has been an intentional, thorough review process,” said Dr. Sara Heyburn, executive director of the State Board of Education. “The resulting standards are strong and will serve our students well, thanks to the commitment and engagement of so many Tennessee educators and parents.”

In October 2014, Governor Bill Haslam announced the creation of a public standards review website to offer feedback on the math and English language arts standards. This process was codified by the General Assembly in Public Chapter 423 of 2015, which refined the review process to include even more opportunities for input on the standards from the public and subject matter experts. For more information, please visit