Are You Prepared to Participate in the Discussions?
Posted: Saturday, August 20th, 2016
by Lisa Hegdahl
I recently found myself a participant in two separate conversations regarding topics of which all California teachers of Science should be knowledgeable. One was in regards to the current status of the California Standards Tests (CSTs) and the other was in regards to High School course structures in light of the new California assessment for Science. As many of us will attend district, school, and department meetings in preparation for the new school year, updating our knowledge about the most recent decisions that will affect California Science education will be time well spent.
California Standards Tests (CSTs)
On May 12, 2016, the State Board of Education approved the elimination of assessments based on the 1998 Science Content Standards assessments which includes the California Standards Tests, California Modified Assessment, and California Alternate Performance Assessment, and delegated authority to the State Board of Education President, Michael Kirst, along with State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, to submit a letter to the U.S. Department of Education requesting federal waiver authority to not double test or report individual student scores for the new CA NGSS summative assessments while conducting pilot testing and field testing.
- California Classroom Science Article – summarizes waiver request.
- May 2016 Agenda (Item 8) Every Student Succeeds Act: Request a Waiver Under Title I, Part A, Section 8401 to Waive Double Testing of Science Requirement.
- Draft Minutes of the May SBE Meeting.
NGSS Science Assessment
On March 9, 2016, the California State Board of Education (SBE) approved the grades for which the CA NGSS summative assessments will be administered and the development of three online CA NGSS summative assessments to meet the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act and the California Education Code. The assessment design includes:
- Grade five assessment, consisting of grade five performance expectations and matrix sampling of performance expectations from kindergarten through grade four;
- Grade eight assessment, consisting of middle school (grades six through eight) performance expectations;
- Grade ten, eleven, or twelve assessment, consisting of high school performance expectations.
In addition, the SBE authorized the California Department of Education (CDE) to begin work with the testing contractor, Educational Testing Service, for the test design that has been proposed. The SBE also requested that the CDE propose a transition plan for ending the current CSTs as the work moves forward, and provide the SBE with updates.
Science Assessment Design Summary
- California Classroom Science Article on California NGSS Summative Assessment Design Plan
- March 2016 SBE Agenda Item 2: California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress: Approval of the Grades for Which the California Next Generation Science Standards Summative Assessments Will Be Administered.
Draft Science Framework for California Public Schools
The Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) and the California State Board of Education (SBE) are currently holding the 2nd and last 60-day public review period of the Draft Science Framework for California Public Schools . The public review period will continue through August 29, 2016. All comments should be submitted to email@example.com . Comments may be submitted in any format, but if you are seeking revisions to the draft it is recommended that you include the chapter, page, and line number(s), the text as it is currently written in the draft, and the exact language of the suggested change. The curriculum framework provides guidance for implementing the Next Generation Science Standards. Please consider providing input for one or more chapters or appendices.
Schedule of Significant Events for the Science Framework for California Public Schools
State Accountability Plan
The California SBE is close to approving a statewide accountability plan for districts that evaluates district successes using multiple measures instead of an overall score reduced to a single number. Districts and other stakeholders will be able to see in which areas they are excelling and those that need improvement. On July 13, 2016, the SBE continued its discussion about the state and local measures of progress for California’s new school accountability system. In addition to scores on standardized tests in English and math, schools will be held accountable for students’ college and career readiness, proficiency for English learners, graduation rates, chronic absenteeism, suspension rates and school climate, basic conditions at a school, implementation of academic standards, and parent engagement.
CSTA has been working diligently with the CDE and SBE to strategically and explicitly include Science education as part of the state’s accountability plan. For the complete CSTA response to the July 13, 2016 SBE Agenda Item 2 Click Here. Some of the recommendations include:
- When they become available, the new statewide science assessment results should be incorporated into the state level indicators of student performance.
- The high school science assessment should be incorporated into the College and Career Indicator (CCI) along with the grade 11 ELA and Math assessments.
- The inclusion of a K-8 measure of CCI and options relating to reporting on master schedules for elementary course taking as well as evidence of sufficient student outcomes across a broad course of study.
- SBE Agenda July 2016 – See Item 2:Developing a New Accountability System: Update on the Local Control Funding Formula…
- Ed Source Article “As deadline looms, California struggles to finalize new school accountability system”
- California Classroom Science Article regarding California’s new accountability system
- SBE News Release “Multiple Measures and Continuous Improvement Define New Accountability System”
- SBE News Release “Board Sets Balance of State and Local Measures to Hold Schools Accountable”
Be assured that CSTA will continue to keep its members updated on these and other issues as more information becomes available. To discuss these topics with other educators across the state who are grappling with how they will affect their districts, schools, and classrooms, consider joining one of the CSTA Facebook groups. Join a conversation, ask questions, or post a tip.
Posted: Saturday, January 14th, 2017
The Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County will be hosting the 41st annual STEM Conference this February 4, 2017 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. This STEM Conference is the place to get lots of new lessons and ideas to use in your classroom. There will be over twenty-five workshops and a variety of exhibitors that provide participants with a wide range of practical and realistic ideas and resources to use in their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs from Pre-K to grade 12. With California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, we are dedicated to ensuring that we prepare our teachers to take on these educational policies.
Teachers, administrators and parents are invited to explore the many exciting aspects of STEM education and learn about and discuss the latest news, information and issues. This is also an opportunity to network with colleagues who can assist you in building your programs and meet new friends that share your interests and love of teaching.
Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017
What follows are several opportunities for science teachers to work with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) on various projects that have direct or indirect implications for the implementation of NGSS in California. Please consider applying to one or more of the following opportunities.
CSET Field Testing Opportunities
Field testing opportunities for future CSET Multiple Subjects and Science tests are available beginning Dec. 5, 2016. Participants will have the choice between a $50 Barnes and Noble eGift Card or a $75 test fee voucher that may be applied to future test registration fees. For more information, including how to register to participate, please visit: http://www.pearsonvue.com/espilot/cset.asp. Learn More…
Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017
Achieve has launched and is facilitating an EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science–a group of expert reviewers who will evaluate the quality and alignment of lessons and units to the standards–in an effort to identify and shine a spotlight on emerging high-quality lesson and unit plans designed for the NGSS.
If you or your state, district, school, or organization has designed NGSS-aligned instructional materials, please consider submitting these in order to help provide educators across the country with various models and templates of high-quality lesson and unit plans. Learn More…
Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017
An upcoming Perry Outreach Program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles, CA. The Perry Outreach Program is a free, one-day, hands-on experience for high school and college-aged women who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine and engineering. Students will hear from women leaders in these fields and try it for themselves by performing mock orthopaedic surgeries and biomechanics experiments. Learn More…
Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017
by Jessica Sawko
January 2017 has proven to be a very busy month for science education policy and CA NGSS implementation activities. CSTA has been and will be there every step of the way, seeking and enacting all options to support high-quality science education and the successful implementation of CA NGSS.
California Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education Science Double-Testing Waiver Hearing
The year started with California Department of Education’s (CDE) hearing with the U.S. Department of Education conducted via WebEx on January 6, 2017. This hearing was the final step in California’s efforts to secure a waiver from the federal government in order to discontinue administration of the old CST and suspension of the reporting of student test scores on a science assessment for two years. As reported by EdSource, the U.S. Department of Education representative, Ann Whalen, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary John King Jr., committed to making her final ruling “very shortly.” Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley presented on behalf of CDE during the hearing and did an excellent job describing the broad-based support for this waiver in California, the rationale for the waiver, and California’s commitment to the successful implementation of a new high-quality science assessment. As previously reported, California is moving forward with its plans to administer a census pilot assessments this spring. The testing window is set to open on March 20, 2017. For more information visit New CA Science Test: What You Should Know.