Decoding the New Science and Math Standards

Illinois recently adopted new education standards for math and science–the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, respectively. These programs have been met with diverse political opposition,confusion, andhave hadmisinformation spread about them. What do these new standards really say, and what do they mean for our students, communities and educators? Why were they created? Will they improve educationorare theyjust the next fad in a long series of programs from meddling government officials?

To answer these questions, Chicago Council on Science and Technology has assembled a panel of experts from all levels of education–education researchers, administrators and classroom teachers–who will speak openly about their opinions of and experience with the new standards.

This program, Decoding the New Science and Math Standards, will feature a panel discussion followed by an in-depthQ&A session, where audience memberscan ask questions directly to the panelists.

This program is fundedby the Chicago Community Trust.


Michael Lachis the Director of STEM Education Initiatives at the Urban Education Institute at the University of Chicago. Throughout his career, he has been a science teacher, an administrator at Chicago Public Schools, and worked for the US Department of Education. His Ph.D. is from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He will moderate the panel discussion.

Brian Reiseris a Professor of Learning Sciences at Northwestern University. He was a member of the National Research Council committee, where he was involved in making research-based recommendations for improving K-8 science education. These recommendations guided the design of the Next Generation Science Standards. His Ph.D. is from Yale University.

Lynn Narasimhanis a Professor of Mathematics and the Director of the STEM Center at DePaul University. For the past five years, she has been helping teachers implement the Common Core StateStandards for math. She received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University.

Kurt Poppenhousewas a math teacher in the Chicago Public School District for 10 years. He left CPS this year to apply his education skills to develop a digital learning program forEveryday Mathematics. He has a Master’s Degree in Teaching from National-Lewis University.

Mary Rockrohris the Instructional Supervisor for Science at Glenbrook North High School, and has been teaching science for almost 20 years. She is co-coordinator of the Illinois Science Education Leadership Association –a professional network of science educators. She has Master’s Degrees in Curriculum and Instruction as well as Educational Leadership from Governors State University.



Wednesday, Nov. 12: Skokie Public Library5215 OAKTON ST., SKOKIE, IL, 60077Doors open 5:30 PM. Program begins 6 PM, Q&A to follow. This program is free.Registration for this event is being handled by the Skokie Public Library. To register, visit the Skokie Public Library website, or call847/673-7774:

The Skokie program will be live streamed. Simply log in to the following link at 6 PM to view the program:

Thursday, Nov. 20: Northwestern University Downtown Campus303 E. 303 E. SUPERIOR ST., CHICAGO, IL 60611Doors open 5:30 PM. Program begins 6 PM, Q&A to follow. This program is free.To register, visit the C2ST website:

For more information contact Andrea Poet at apoet@c2st.orgor 312-567-5795

ABOUT C2ST: Chicago Council on Science and Technology is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization that brings researchers and scientists out of the lab, directly to you. We work with national laboratories, leading academic institutions and museums to educate the public on issues of critical scientific importance. In an age when barely one in four voting adults meet a basic level of scientific literacy, we aim to reignite an excitement and passion for science and technology, and remind Chicagoans of the quality and quantity of R&D that takes place in their backyard

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