Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

October 15, 2013

Washington MESA Supports State Adoption of Next Generation Science Standards

Washington MESAWashington MESA leadership, teachers and students played a role in the review process for a new set of K-12 state science standards, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), officially adopted earlier this month. Gov. Jay Inslee and State Superintendent Randy Dorn made the announcement at Cascade Middle School in the Highline School District, Oct. 4.

Washington was a lead partner in the two-year review process and is the eighth state in the country to adopt the NGSS. The standards are based on the National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education” which outlines the practices, fundamental concepts and core ideas needed to prepare students to become 21st century mathematicians, scientists and engineers.

Washington MESA, administered through the University of Washington Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, is a program that provides enriching opportunities in mathematics, engineering and science for underrepresented students, minorities and girls in grades K-14.

“Recognizing Washington MESA as a valued partner in the development and implementation of the NGSS is a reflection of Washington state’s commitment to ensuring that all students have access to a quality education that prepares them for careers in the 21st century and for life,” said James Dorsey, Washington MESA executive director.

In 2012, MESA began to prepare teachers with information about new NGSS standards by offering professional development sessions in collaboration with Ellen Ebert, the Office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) Science Director.

MESA also provided content and feedback for the Bias and Sensitivity process and wrote a letter of support for adoption to the state superintendent. MESA students were among the two student groups who reviewed and provided feedback on the standards to the national writers for the NGSS.

“We recognize the importance of ensuring that our constituent’s voices were represented and therefore invested over 60 hours reviewing the standards and providing feedback,” Dorsey said. “We were pleased to have played a role in informing NGSS’s review and adoption process.”

For more information, please contact Dorsey at or 206-616-7739. Additional information is also on the Washington MESA web site. The press release announcing the NGSS standards is posted on the OSPI web site and its adoption was covered in this Seattle Times article.