On April 8th, 2013, Achieve released the final version of the Next Generation Science Standards. Last week three in-person and one online town hall meetings took place across the state. These meetings allowed stakeholders to provide input and feedback about the standards to the California Department of Education. The Superintendent’s Science Expert Panel will review all of the input collected via these hearings and provide guidance to the State Superintendent. (more…)
This is a strange time for those of us who have been following the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) closely. We are excited and ready to dive in, but there is still a period of public comment and then the California Board of Education won’t make a final decision about adoption until November. Assuming that happens, it will be a few years before there is a California State Framework and assessment plan in place. In the meantime we are still being held accountable for the California State Standards, the CST test this year, and maybe next year. So what do we do now? (more…)
Science Fair season is in full swing and I can’t speak for the whole state, but I know that in our region science fair participation has declined in recent years. This is especially true at the high school level but can be seen at all levels. (more…)
No fellow teacher, I’m not asking how you will be held accountable for the NGSS. I’m wondering how the NGSS will be held accountable for achieving its goals of improving science education.
Will more students be prepared to work in science and engineering related careers and pass college courses in science and engineering? Will more kids be excited about science and engineering and choose careers or continuing education in the sciences? (more…)
In recent months we’ve had many occasions to talk about the NGSS with our college faculty colleagues and without exception, reactions have been overwhelmingly positive. The vision set forth in the “Framework for K-12 Science Education” for integrating scientific practices, crosscutting concepts and disciplinary core ideas makes good sense. The “Conceptual Shifts” and the draft “Definition of College and Career Readiness in Science” seem promising and ambitious, and once the NGSS are successfully implemented we can expect to see a drastically different level of preparedness in the students arriving at our colleges. (more…)
While I have not finished my review of the NGSS yet, (I’m concentrating on astronomy K-12, elementary life science, and evolution in secondary), I can report that the feedback from the first round is having a huge effect. The authors have made major changes, which are summarized in Appendix B: Responses to May Public Feedback.
What I noticed from my own feedback: protein synthesis is no longer a middle school expectation, fewer standards and much more clarity in elementary science, and much greater clarification of the performance expectations. It is a good feeling to know that your voice counts and to have evidence that it does. (more…)
by Michelle French, Lisa Hegdahl, Jeff Orlinsky, and Sean Timmons
“Scientists think of science both as a process for discovering properties of nature and as the resulting body of knowledge, whereas most people seem to think of science, or perhaps scientists, as an authority that provides some information — just one more story among the many that they use to help make sense of their world.” – Helen Quinn
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) provide educators with an important opportunity to improve science education, student engagement, and student achievement. Based on the Framework for K–12 Science Education, the NGSS are intended to reflect a new vision and will shift the way science education is delivered in America. The emphasis on application will require students to understand science concepts more deeply since the focus of the NGSS has been placed on “students doing” rather than “students knowing”. (more…)
What happens next? The second and final public review of the draft Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is now closed but we don’t yet have a new set of science standards for California. Although we have ELA Common Core Standards with specific expectations for reading and writing in science and we have Common Core Standards for Mathematics that call for modeling and the application of math practices to real world problems, we are still waiting for standards that are science-specific. In this article, we will attempt to outline the next steps in the development process for California science standards.
The feedback period for the second public draft ended on January 29 and the results are being reviewed by the writing team at Achieve, Inc. for further revisions and refinements. Once those are made, Achieve, Inc. is scheduled to release the final version of the NGSS in March 2013. It’s important to realize that the NGSS are the result of a large collaboration between states and once finalized, individual states are encouraged to adopt them in whole. We hope that you had an opportunity to review the draft and provide your feedback to Achieve. CSTA would like to hear directly from you regarding your thoughts on the standards. Please take a moment to complete a short, 13 question survey to help guide CSTA in representing your voice at the state level in response to the second draft. (more…)
CSTA has confirmed that Achieve plans to release the second public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) on Tuesday, January 8 at 12:00 pm (Pacific time). The review period will be open until January 28. CSTA strongly encourages all science teachers to participate in the review process, ensuring that the teacher’s voice is represented in the standards development process. (more…)
In speaking with science teachers, most have high enthusiasm and hope for the new standards. Enthusiasm and hope are good things, but what is really needed is for classroom practitioners to apply their vision and creativity to these standards. For example, as you review, consider the following: Is that the best practice to connect to that standard, or have you used one that is more effective? Will this standard be more appropriate for younger or older students? Does the chosen cross-cutting concept really connect strongly to this concept? (more…)
The release of the second and final public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is set for the first week in January. In recognition of the hectic schedules in December and the approaching holidays, (more…)
The following is the text of the President’s address at the opening session of the 2012 California Science Education Conference:
These are exciting times to be in science education. Since the last time we talked, a lot has happened in our schools that will fundamentally change our teaching, science education, and, most importantly, the learning and lives of our students.
The child born today will begin school in 2017. He or she will graduate high school in 2029, college in 2035, and work as a productive citizen through 2070. Given the trends in life expectancy, the child born today will be alive in 2100. The decisions we make today will impact choices and opportunities for a significant period of time. (more…)
It is anticipated that the second and final pubic draft of the Next Generation Science Standards is expected to be released in mid- to late-November. The review period will be three weeks. CSTA will send out a member-only alert as soon as the draft is released. Please stay tuned to your email in-boxes and California Classroom Science for information on the release of the draft and group review meetings throughout California.
In order to prepare yourself for the review period, CSTA encourages you to visit the CSTA NGSS resources webpage and become as familiar with the Framework for K-12 Science Education as you can. The resource page offers links to webinars, reading guides, and the Framework.
From the California Department of Education NGSS Listserv:
Update from the California Department of Education (CDE)
Issue 4 (Week beginning October 29, 2012)
NGSS CDE News
Final Public Release of the Draft NGSS
Development of the NGSS
California’s Involvement as a Lead State Partner
The NGSS CDE update is an e-mail to inform California educators and parents of new developments and upcoming events. Please feel free to share information in the update with those who are interested in the NGSS CDE’s work. (more…)
Preparing for the Next Generation Science Standards—Major Practices
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), expected out next year, are based on A Framework for K-12 Science Education, released in 2011 by the National Research Council (NRC). The Framework describes the major practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas that all students should be familiar with by the end of high school. (more…)
Secondly, if you were one of those who participated in the public review of the NGSS in May and were wondering what happened to your feedback, I had the opportunity to speak with one of the California state reviewers (there are 70) and got some insights. (more…)
Both the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are based on the idea of college and career readiness. So what does that really mean in this day and age? I had the opportunity this summer to spend time finding out. A local business organization, the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership, organized a set of field trips to visit job sites in the energy and utilities sectors. Designed for teachers involved in utilities and alternative energy career pathway programs, it was a chance to see which skills and knowledge people working in science related careers were using in their jobs, and what helped them to advance and be successful. We visited a geothermal energy plant, wastewater treatment plants, electrical grid operations, irrigation canals, and spoke with city planners. I also visited a distillery to learn about the process of producing bio-fuels for biology and chemistry classes. In the process, I not only met microbiologists, geologists, engineers, and chemists with college degrees, but also many workers without college degrees who use science everyday in their well-paying jobs. (more…)
Yesterday I went to a meeting on the common core standards for literacy in science and technical subjects and noted some important parallels with the NGSS and some common concerns. Unlike the NGSS, which are still in the middle of their revision process and may or may not eventually become adopted by California, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a done deal. Testing on these standards, written for math and Language Arts, begins in 2015. What will happen to testing in science and social studies at that time is an open question and one that is currently being discussed by the AB 250 work group. (They are currently seeking public comment, click here for more information.) (more…)
As a partner in the development of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), NSTA recently conducted a comprehensive review of the first public draft when it was released for input in May and has provided feedback to Achieve. NSTA’s report highlights a number of critical issues regarding the structure and content of the NGSS and offers seven recommendations to the writers to consider as they begin work on the next draft. (more…)
The first public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) was released for review on Friday, May 14th. The review period for this draft closed at the end of the day on June 1st. If you did not have an opportunity to review the standards during this first round, CSTA strongly encourages you to participate in the second round of public reviews, anticipated for late fall of this year. Information about the draft standards can be found at http://www.nextgenscience.org/next-generation-science-standards. A copy of the May draft of the standards is available for download from the CSTA website. If your time is limited, you might consider reviewing only a portion of the standards in your area of expertise. What ever route you choose, your comments are important to the continued development of the standards in a form and structure that will guide science instruction for years to come. (more…)
CSTA is hosting an online discussion forum for its members on the Next Generation Science Standards. Please take advantage of your membership and participate in this online forum with your fellow CSTA colleagues. Help us represent your voice in this issue by participating in the forum and letting CSTA and your fellow teachers what your thoughts on the draft standards are.
Achieve has released the first draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for public review. The NGSS will be available for review online until June 1, 2012. The website hosting the standards contains the draft standards and a wealth of background information. Click here to access the draft standards. (more…)
On May 9, 2012 the California State Board of Education will hear its first formal presentation on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). It is item number 2 on the agenda. The board meetings are available for viewing on-line, so if you can’t make it to Sacramento, you are encouraged to view the meeting online to get the most current information on the Next Generation Science Standards and when they will be released. In addition to a presentation from CDE staff, Stephen Pruitt of Achieve will make a presentation to the board. Achieve is the organization coordination the writing of the NGSS. (more…)
The first draft of the Next Generation Science Standards were expected to be released by the end of April. Now that it is May 1 and the draft standards have yet to be released to the public, CSTA has learned that the revised release time frame has been revised to mid-May. The review window will be only three weeks long once the draft is released, so please stay tuned to CSTA for word when the draft is available and take some time to study and give feedback through http://www.nextgenscience.org/. You can choose to provide feedback on only the areas in which you have the most expertise. CSTA will be working with other statewide organizations to alert members to public review sessions as well. That information will be made available soon after the draft standards are released. (more…)
There is a buzz about the Next Generation Science Standards. Many science teachers I speak to look forward with a mix of anticipation and anxiety to the release of new standards. Change can be hard, but for most of us in the science education community, we see that it is necessary to keep our field moving forward. So, what will the future hold and how will the new vision for science education articulated in the Framework and the NGSS play out in real classrooms? For this article I’d like to put forward some thoughts on one strand of the new standards, the “Practices.” Last month in this venue, Peter A’Hearn explained how the new focus on practices is different from the current California investigation and experimentation strand and why this approach is productive (see also Osborne, 2011). My purpose here is not to re-hash that account, but to put forward some ideas about how the focus on practices could actually look in a science classroom. (more…)
At last weekend’s CUE conference, I spoke to many publisher reps. I asked if their companies were starting to look at the NGSS and how they were approaching it. The most common response I got was, “We’ll just change the standards correlations on what we’ve already got.”
So, no big deal, there’s nothing new under the sun. My reading of the NGSS, however, suggests that there should be some big changes required in the way curriculum is designed and delivered to meet the vision of the NGSS framework. One of the best examples is to look at how different the “how we do science” part of the framework is from the one we currently use in California. (more…)
By the time the California Science Education Conference is held in San Jose, October 19-21, the Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS) will be nearing its final draft. In anticipation of the interest science educators will have regarding the standards, the California Science Teachers Association will provide an NGSS strand during their annual conference.
Helen Quinn Photo Credit: Dan Quinn
The opening keynote speaker will be Helen Quinn, Emerita Professor of Physics at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Helen Quinn assisted in the development of the California State Science Standards and was the chair of the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on a Conceptual Framework for New K-12 Science Education Standards, the committee that authored A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. Dr. Quinn is an authority on the Framework, the document that is guiding the development of the NGSS.
Presented at the Lawrence Hall of Science on July 28, 2011. This video will provide you with information about the research behind the framework and key features of the framework. Helen Quinn will present the opening keynote address at the 2012 California Science Education Conference in San Jose on Friday, October 19, 2012.
The Framework for K-12 Science Education Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas was developed by the National Research Council and is the document guiding the development of the Next Generation Science Standards. Helen Quinn served as the chair of the NRC Committee that wrote the Framework. The Framework is available for download for free from the National Academies Press at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13165.