State Science Standards
The Florida Department of Education State Standards may be seen at this website: http://www.fldoe.org/.
Sunshine State Standards: Science
The Sunshine State Standards were first approved by the State Board of Education in 1996 as a means of
identifying academic expectations for student achievement in Florida. These original standards were written in
several subject areas and were divided into four separate grade clusters (PreK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12). This format
was chosen to provide flexibility to school districts in designing curriculum based on local needs.
As Florida moved toward greater accountability for student achievement at each grade level, the Sunshine
State Standards were further defined with specific "Grade Level Expectations" added over time. As
time went on, two realities appeared that magnified the need to increase the level of rigor, coherence, and
clarity in Florida's academic standards. First, it was recognized that the level of rigor in the 1996
standards was inadequate to address the increased levels of achievement attained by our students. Second,
ample evidence from both national and international measures of student achievement indicated the urgent need
for higher levels of challenge for all students. This could not occur without a serious effort to increase the
level of rigor and expectations across the board for all Florida students.
The Department of Education recognized the need for a systematic approach to review and revise all of the
academic standards, and on January 17, 2006, the State Board of Education adopted a six-year cycle that set
forth a schedule for the regular review and revision of all K-12 content standards. This action went beyond
increasing the rigor of the standards; it included this alignment of the new standards with assessments,
instructional materials, professional development, and teacher licensure exams. This way, the new standards
and their higher levels of rigor will be fully integrated into the entire culture of K-12 instruction. This
move sets the stage for higher levels of rigor and higher academic achievement for years to come.
A Commitment to Excellence
In 2006, the Florida legislature boldly stated its commitment to higher and more challenging standards for
Florida's children by passing HB 7087. Florida law now reads:
§1001.03(1) ...The state board shall establish a schedule to facilitate the periodic review of the standards
to ensure adequate rigor, relevance, logical student progression, and integration of reading, writing, and
mathematics across all subject areas.
This is a commitment that is shared by educators across Florida, as evidenced by the overwhelming level of
public feedback for this revision process. Our goal is to move forward with confidence and a sense of purpose
as we begin implementing these revised rigorous science content standards.
Adopted by SBE February 19, 2008 Florida's Student Performance Science Standards 2
Many people were involved in the review and revision of the science standards. We extend our thanks to all
of the educators and members of the public for their active interest in this important work. We look forward
to continuing to work with all stakeholders as partners in implementing these higher expectations for all
Dr. Eric J. Smith
Commissioner of Education