NEW ORLEANS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes' (CSBI) education and executive committees and 34 CSBI and CSBA members listed below today announced their endorsement of updated and improved science standards such as those embodied by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a set of K-12 benchmarks that identify science and engineering practices and content that all K–12 students should master in order to prepare for success in college and 21st-century careers. The announcement was made by Angela Kreps, Former President & CEO of BioKansas and Chair of the CSBI.
Released in April 2013 by a coalition that included the American Association for Advancement in Science (AAAS) and the National Research Council (NRC), the NGSS are internationally benchmarked, rigorous, and based on the latest research on how students best learn science. Twenty-six states voluntarily joined the process to develop the NGSS, which incorporate feedback from critical stakeholders in education, science, business and industry, as well as the general public. As of October 2014, 12 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the NGSS.
Given the pace of technological innovation, improved science education can’t come soon enough. It has been more than 17 years since the NRC and the AAAS produced the seminal documents on which most state science standards are based. U.S. high school students now rank 28th in science and 36th in math among 65 countries*, at the same time the U.S. has seen a documented decline in global competitiveness and a diminishing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workforce.
In its statement of endorsement, the CSBI writes, “…We strongly support local initiatives to update science learning standards to improve student achievement, including adoption of the NGSS, which…will provide all students with a coherent and content-rich science education that will prepare them for college and careers.”
The letter also addresses the imperative need for an American workforce educated and trained in STEM fields. “Put simply, the availability of a creative and highly skilled workforce across America’s cities, regions and states stimulates innovation and results in economic prosperity. The future of our companies is also dependent upon such highly-skilled talent.”
The bioscience industry has also voiced its support of the position taken by CSBI. “We applaud CSBI’s endorsement of improved science standards and recognize its significance to our industry,” said Paul Hastings, CEO of CA-based OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, and a Board member of Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the world’s largest trade association representing biotech companies, academic institutions, state biotech centers and related global organizations. “As the life science industry continues to expand globally, it is essential that educators prepare students with the necessary skills to compete and thrive in an ever-changing work environment. Improved science standards, such as the NGSS, will help to ensure that students enter the workforce with the enhanced communication, problem-solving and critical thinking skills needed to maintain our global competitiveness.”
Included in the CSBI letter of endorsement is a call to action for coalition members to:
- support the leading states who have been the early adopters of the Next Generation Science Standards or are working on developing other updated science standards;
- engage with peer business leaders to share the importance of updated standards and build a broader base of support across our nation’s business community; and to
- work across our cities, regions and states to inform the public and civic leaders about the adoption and implementation of new science standards.
Founded in 2012, the Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes (CSBI) is a national collation of 42 state bioscience organizations and the Biotechnology Institute that are working to ensure America’s leadership in bioscience innovation by delivering industry-led sciences education, workforce development, and entrepreneurship programs through a nationally coordinated effort.
*Organization for Economic Co-operations and Development (OECD), Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2013
STATEMENT of ENDORSEMENT
This letter is a statement by the undersigned members of the Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes (CSBI) and the Council for State BioScience Associations (CSBA) to articulate broad support for updated science standards that equip students with the skills necessary for success in all careers – within and beyond STEM fields.
Building the talent pool for our nation and our companies requires the development and adoption in every state of internationally-benchmarked standards for student success. We strongly support local initiatives to update science learning standards to improve student achievement including adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards, which are based on the National Research Council’s Framework for K–12 Science Education. These standards will provide all students with a coherent and content-rich science education that will prepare them for college and careers.
Education and training in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) stands as our most important tool for ensuring individual and national prosperity. According to the Department of Commerce, from 2000 to 2010, jobs in STEM fields grew at three times the rate of any other field. Through 2018, jobs in STEM fields are expected to increase by 17 percent, nearly double the projected growth rate of other jobs. The numbers speak for themselves. A strong foundation of science and mathematics learning at every level of the workforce is more important than ever.
As industry leaders, we fully understand the cause and effect that exists between talent and innovation. Put simply, the availability of a creative and highly skilled workforce across America’s cities, regions and states stimulates innovation and results in economic prosperity. The future of our companies is also dependent upon such high-skilled talent.
That’s why we stand ready to support states committed to updating science standards with internationally benchmarked measures such as the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). To turn our commitment into action, we seek to:
• support the leading states who have been the early adopters of the Next Generation Science Standards or are working on developing other updated science standards;
• engage with peer business leaders to share the importance of updated standards and build a broader base of support across our nation’s business community; and to
• work across our cities, regions and states to inform the public and civic leaders about the adoption and implementation of new science standards.
We, the below 34 organizations, are confident that the revised science standards will provide an important foundation to help restore America as the world’s leader in the production of STEM talent.
Arizona BioIndustry Association (AZBio), Chandler, AZ
|BayBio Association, South San Francisco, CA
|BayBio Institute, South San Francisco, CA
|Biocom Institute, San Diego, CA
|BIOforward, Inc., Madison, WI
|BioOhio, Columbus, OH
BioKansas, Lenexa, KS
|Bio Nebraska Life Sciences Association, Omaha, NE
|BioNJ, Trenton, NJ
|Bioscience Association of West Virginia, Charleston, WV
|Biotechnology Institute, Washington DC
|Colorado Bioscience Association, Denver, CO
|Georgia Bio, Atlanta, GA
|Delaware Bio, Newark, DE
|Georgia Bio Institute, Atlanta, GA
|Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO), Chicago, IL
|iBIO Institute, Chicago, IL
|Idaho Technology Council, Boise, ID
|Industry University Research Center Inc. doing business as INDUNIV Research Consortium, San Juan, PR
|Indiana Health Industry Forum, Indianapolis, IN
|LifeScience Alley, St. Louis Park, MN
|LouisianaBio, New Orleans, LA
|MassBioEd Foundation, Cambridge, MA
|MdBio Foundation, Rockville, MD
|MichBio - Michigan Biosciences Industry Association, Ann Arbor, MI
|Montana BioScience Alliance, Billings, MT
|NewYorkBIO, New York, NY
Nevada Biotechnology & Health Science Consortium, Las Vegas, NV
|Oregon Bioscience Association, Portland, OR
|Pennsylvania Bio, Wayne, PA
|SoCalBio, Los Angeles/Irvine, CA
|South Dakota Biotech, Sioux Falls, SD
|VirginiaBio, Richmond, VA
|Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association, Seattle, WA