As a result of some recommendations made by a state level commission, Washington is in the process of re-examining its math and science standards. These documents had been reviewed in the past, but the goal now is to make them comparable to international standards. The math review is complete and the verdict is that the math goals are too low. Other conclusions by the review team included that Washington standards are too much on the concept side and not enough on the basic facts side of the math world. In addition, the standards are a mile wide and an inch deep---they have not been truly boiled down to what's essential. Currently, nearly 40% of tenth grade students are unable to meet the standards in math.
Fewer students are able to meet the standards in science. I am cringing as I await the review of those standards and what that may mean. My hunch is that there will be some similar conclusions as with math---not enough "beef." Science is a bit of a red-headed step-child in all of this. Kids have to meet the standards in 2013, just as they will for math, and yet all of the attention and focus is on boosting math scores...which have a lot shorter road to travel than science. I'm not sure when people are going to start panicking about science, but it's already getting to be too late.