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Alumnus critiques new science standards

May 08, 2014

“We all must ensure that every student, every day, has an equal opportunity to achieve science literacy,” writes retired educator Ford Morishita (’78, M.A.T. ’81) in a recent commentary on the new Oregon State Board of Education’s Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

As Oregon classrooms adapt to larger numbers of racial and ethnic minority students, students with disabilities and poorer students, Moshita wrote, everyone must get an opportunity to meet state standards.  

In March, Oregon became the tenth state to adopt the new set of standards. The NGSS lay a foundation for what K-12 science students should know, and connect to the Science and Common Core English Language Arts/Math standards and practices. NGSS developers made access to all students a high priority. “The stakes for provision of equal access to NGSS has never been higher,” Moshita wrote.

A biology teacher and coach for 33 years, Moshita earned numerous awards, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching (1994), Outstanding Biology Teacher Award from the National Association of Biology Teachers (1994) and Oregon Teacher of the Year (1997). His teaching approach mixed essays, copious note-taking and debates on current issues. He was also a founding member of the Teachers Advisory Council for the National Research Council, president for the Oregon Science Teachers Association, and national associate of the National Academies. He retired from teaching in 2011, and now serves as a member of the Chalkboard Project Advisory Council.

Morishita published his commentary as a guest post on the education blog of the Chalkboard Project. Read Morishita’s post here: