Bill Preventing Use of the Next Generation Science Standards Introduced in Iowa
On February 19, 2019, a bill (House File 428) was introduced in the Iowa legislature that would, if enacted, reinstate “the science standards utilized by school districts in this state during the 2014-2015 school year.” This would effectively prevent use of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which were approved by the Iowa State Board of Education in August 2015, and first used in the 2015-16 school year.
The NGSS were developed by a consortium of 26 states, in collaboration with various education groups, and are widely considered to reflect the “best practice” for science education. Nevertheless, the NGSS have been criticized by a number of Iowa state legislators, including Representative Sandy Salmon, who is the lead sponsor of House File 428. Rep. Salmon has previously objected to the NGSS because, in her view, “woven throughout the standards are controversial topics of climate change, man’s negative impact on the environment, and evolution as a scientific fact.”
Representative Salmon has repeatedly sought to block implementation of the NGSS. She was the lead sponsor of House File 2317, which was introduced in the Iowa legislature in February 2018, and sought to reverse the State Board of Education’s decision to adopt the NGSS. She is also a co-sponsor of House File 61, which was introduced in January 2019, and would prevent prevent the State Board of Education implementing the NGSS.
On March 8, 2019, House File 428 died in the Iowa House of Representatives.