March/April 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 6

Region 3 – Dispelling Myths and Misconceptions Regarding NGSS

Posted: Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

by Dean Gilbert

In order to clarify the ambiguities and misconceptions that may exist regarding the document, Next Generation Science Standards, I have developed this simple chart that lists what the NGSS is and is not.

What We Know NOW NGSS IS …

  • a document that describes the performance expected after instruction is complete.
  • the end summative assessment product for what all students should know and be able to do.
  • a document that lays a foundation for what all students need to know.
  • a state-led effort to develop a new set of science standards, managed by Achieve, Inc. and derived from the National Research Council document, A
  • Framework for K-12 Science Education:  Practices, Crosscutting Concepts and Core Ideas.”
  • a document designed to provide greater emphasis on depth over breadth in studying a subject.
  • a document that presents science as it is–a combination of what we know (disciplinary core ideas and cross cutting concepts) and how we know it (practices).

What We Still Do Not Know NGSS is NOT…

  • a scope and sequence for instruction.
  • a curriculum ready to be taught.
  • a document intended to limit how much science students are to learn.
  • a document that describes how to teach.

The timeline for California is as follows:

  • Public Testimonies:
    • April 30, 2013; 3-5pm- Santa Clara COE (Webinar)
    • April 30, 2013; 3-5pm- Orange County Dept. of Ed (Live onsite webinar)
    • May 2, 2013; 3-5pm- Riverside COE (Live public meeting)
  • State Superintendent of Public Instruction Torlakson- Presentation of new Science Content Standards for California to the State Board of Education (SBE)- July 2013.
  • SBE has until November 2013 to adopt, modify, or reject

If adopted (with or without modification) the next steps:

There is current legislation (SB300- Hancock, for the development of a new Science Framework to begin February 2014 and finalized by December 2015.  If legislation is approved, CDE will solicit writers for a new California Science Curriculum Framework; this is the document that will CLEARLY guide the development of curricula and instructional resources, assessment plans, guidance for professional development programs, in-service, pre-service and teacher licensing standards, and criteria for adoption of instructional materials…our “HOW TO IMPLEMENT” Guide.

As for Instructional Materials, we will not see new instructional materials up for adoption until January 2018 (based on our current timeline.)

There is also pending legislation to suspend API and testing for non-ESEA courses (i.e., Science, History/Social Science) for 2014.  Any ESEA testing (science elementary, middle and high school–or our 5th, 8th and 10th grade science tests) stays until ESEA is re-authorized or goes away.  End of course exams at the high school in science are not part of ESEA, and therefore those go away if the legislation is passed.

So…My advice to you- RELAX, TAKE A BREATH!  The adoption-awareness -transition-implementation-evaluation process will be a long journey.  I truly believe our Science leaders at the state level are firmly grounded and focused on the development of a quality, hands-on K-12 science program for all our children of California.

Some additional web resources:

Superintendent Torlakson’s  Assessment Recommendations regarding science.  AB 484 (Bonilla) http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=ab_484&sess=CUR&house=B&author=bonilla which is still in legislation, and has not been signed into law, addresses most of his recommendations from page 48 in the document, Recommendations for Transitioning California to a Future Assessment System.

SB 300 (Chaptered) – New Science Standards

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/sen/sb_0251-0300/sb_300_bill_20111008_chaptered.html

SB 300 Current Session/Proposed legislation

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=sb_300&sess=CUR&house=B&author=hancock

Written by Dean Gilbert

Dean Gilbert

Dean Gilbert is the science coordinator for the Orange County Department of Education, and a member of CSTA.

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California Science Curriculum Framework Now Available

Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

The pre-publication version of the new California Science Curriculum Framework is now available for download. This publication incorporates all the edits that were approved by the State Board of Education in November 2016 and was many months in the making. Our sincere thanks to the dozens of CSTA members were involved in its development. Our appreciation is also extended to the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the Instructional Quality Commission, and the Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee and their staff for their hard work and dedication to produce this document and for their commitment to the public input process. To the many writers and contributors to the Framework CSTA thanks you for your many hours of work to produce a world-class document.

For tips on how to approach this document see our article from December 2016: California Has Adopted a New Science Curriculum Framework – Now What …? If you would like to learn more about the Framework, consider participating in one of the Framework Launch events (a.k.a. Rollout #4) scheduled throughout 2017.

The final publication version (formatted for printing) will be available in July 2017. This document will not be available in printed format, only electronically.

Written by California Science Teachers Association

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CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

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CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

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Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

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Marian Murphy-Shaw

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Learning to Teach in 3D

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

by Joseph Calmer

Probably like you, NGSS has been at the forefront of many department meetings, lunch conversations, and solitary lesson planning sessions. Despite reading the original NRC Framework, the Ca Draft Frameworks, and many CSTA writings, I am still left with the question: “what does it actually mean for my classroom?”

I had an eye-opening experience that helped me with that question. It came out of a conversation that I had with a student teacher. It turns out that I’ve found the secret to learning how to teach with NGSS: I need to engage in dialogue about teaching with novice teachers. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching science in some capacity for 12 years. During that time pedagogy and student learning become sort of a “hidden curriculum.” It is difficult to plan a lesson for the hidden curriculum; the best way is to just have two or more professionals talk and see what emerges. I was surprised it took me so long to realize this epiphany. Learn More…

Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.