An Act To Improve Science and Engineering Education for Maine's Students
Sec. 1. 20-A MRSA §6209, first ¶, as amended by PL 2009, c. 647, §1, is further amended to read:
The department in consultation with the state board shall establish and implement a comprehensive, statewide system of learning results, which may must include a core of standards in English language arts and , mathematics and science for kindergarten to grade 12 established in common with the other states, as set forth in this section and in department rules implementing this section and other curricular requirements. The department must shall establish accountability standards at all grade levels in the areas of mathematics; reading; and science and technology. The department shall establish parameters for essential instruction and graduation requirements in English language arts; mathematics; science and technology; social studies; career and education development; visual and performing arts; health, physical education and wellness; and world languages. Only students in a public school or a private school approved for tuition that enrolls at least 60% publicly funded students, as determined by the previous school year's October and April average enrollment, are required to participate in the system of learning results set forth in this section and in department rules implementing this section and other curricular requirements. The commissioner shall develop accommodation provisions for instances where course content conflicts with sincerely held religious beliefs and practices of a student's parent or guardian. The system must be adapted to accommodate children with disabilities as defined in section 7001, subsection 1-A.
Sec. 2. 20-A MRSA §6209, sub-§1-A, ¶C, as enacted by PL 2007, c. 259, §5, is amended to read:
Sec. 3. Rulemaking. The Commissioner of Education shall amend the Department of Education’s Rules Chapter 131, the Maine Federal, State, and Local Accountability Standards, and Rules Chapter 132, Learning Result: Parameters for Essential Instruction, to include in the statewide system of learning results and assessment a core of science standards for kindergarten to grade 12 aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards established through a collaborative, state-led process involving the National Research Council of the National Academies, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Achieve. The science standards included in these rules must include science and engineering aspects of the Next Generation Science Standards that clarify for students the relevance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to everyday life and help students become successful analytical thinkers, prepared for college and careers.
The 2 rules chapters to be amended by the Commissioner of Education in accordance with this section are major substantive rules pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 253, subsection 9 and section 6211. In order to implement the science standards as part of the State's system of learning results and assessment beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, the Department of Education shall provisionally adopt these amended rules on or before December 31, 2015 and shall submit the provisionally adopted rules to the Executive Director of the Legislative Council by the deadline established for the legislative acceptance period in 2016 in accordance with Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
This bill requires the Department of Education to include the so-called Next Generation Science Standards for kindergarten to grade 12 in the State's system of learning results and assessment and directs the Commissioner of Education to amend Department of Education rules on or before December 31, 2015 in order to include the science standards as part of the State's system of learning results and assessment beginning with the 2016-2017 school year.