May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

NGSS Implementation Update: State Implementation Plan, New Assessments, LCAPs, and Curriculum Framework

Posted: Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

by Jessica L. Sawko

There are a lot of moving parts  when it comes to implementing new state standards and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are no exception. Two weeks ago the California Department of Education (CDE) and State Board of Education (SBE) responded to CSTA’s call to provide clarification regarding the standards that are to be included in a district’s LCAP when addressing State Priority #2. Today and tomorrow the CFCC will convene again with the writers of the NGSS Curriculum Framework to provide feedback to the writers on draft framework chapters and CSTA will be at the meetings to provide input into process. Later this week the SBE will interview candidates for appointment to the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) – the body that will pick up the work to finish the NGSS Curriculum Framework after the CFCC completes its work. Finally, next week the SBE will convene its November meeting on November 13 – 14, 2014. On the agenda for this meeting is a recommendation from CDE that the State Board approve the State Implementation Plan for NGSS – a plan which will lay the groundwork for implementation activities at the state and local level as well as for support providers like CSTA and others. Also on the agenda is a report from CDE’s assessment division with the results of the stakeholder group meetings that were held in July 2014 to inform the planning of the future statewide assessment system for science. Finally the SBE will appoint new members to the IQC.

Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) FAQ Update

For those students, teachers, and parents who would like to see support for NGSS implementation activities be a larger part of their district’s LCAP, the California Department of Education and State Board of Education have provided you with a critical tool to help clarify that State Priority #2 is not only about the implementation of Common Core, but rather the implementation of all state standards for all students. CSTA had advocated that this clarifying language be included in the LCAP template itself, however this request was not approved. At the same time the SBE recognized that further clarification was appropriate and on October 21, 2014, posted a new FAQ to add clarity to the intention of State Priority #2:

What State Standards must the LCAP address as part of Priority 2? (Posted 21-Oct-2014)

The LCAP must include goals and related actions that address implementation of the academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board. The content standards adopted by the California State Board of Education are listed below:

English Language Arts – Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, Adopted August 2010
Mathematics – Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, Adopted August 2010 and modified January 2013
English Language Development, Adopted November 2012
Career Technical Education, Updated January 2013
Health Education Content Standards, Adopted March 2008
History-Social Science, Adopted October 1998
Model School Library Standards, Adopted September 2010
Physical Education Model Content Standards, Adopted January 2005
Next Generation Science Standards, Adopted 2013
Visual and Performing Arts, Adopted January 2001
World Language, Adopted January 2009

The list of the standards may also be accessed at the CDE’s Content Standards Web page.

Further, Priority 2 requires the description of how programs and services will enable English Learners to access the English-Language Arts and Mathematics Common Core academic standards adopted pursuant to Section 60605.8 and the English Language Development standards adopted pursuant to Section 60811.3 for purposes of gaining academic content knowledge and English language proficiency.

Teachers are a critical voice in the LCAP planning process, make your voice heard in your district about your need for professional learning support for NGSS to be a critical component of your district’s LCAP. CSTA has worked at the state level to improve the communication about the scope of State Priority #2 – now the work falls to the local level and in your community where the decisions about what is included in your district’s LCAP is made.

NGSS Curriculum Framework

The third of six Science Curriculum Frameworks and Evaluation Criteria Committee (Science CFCC) meetings will take place in Sacramento November 5-6, 2014. CSTA has a team of volunteer reviewers providing feedback and edits to the CFCC on each chapter of the Curriculum Framework as they are presented at each meeting. In addition, CSTA has had representation at each CFCC meeting, providing input through the public process. Curriculum frameworks provide guidance for implementing the standards and CSTA will participate in the development process every step of the way.

November State Board of Education Meeting

On November 13, 2014 the SBE will hear a presentation and consider approval of the State Implementation Plan for California Next Generation Science Standards for Public Schools, Kindergarten through Grade Twelve. CSTA participated in the process to develop the first draft of the plan as well as provided feedback to the draft plan that was presented in September 2014. The newest version of the draft plan includes an Executive Summary and lays the groundwork for and provides guidance to CDE, LEAs, and community stakeholders of NGSS implementation activities for the next few years and beyond. CSTA is in the process of reviewing this latest version of the plan and will submit its comments to the SBE later this week

Of interest to many science teachers in California will be item #2 on the SBE’s agenda, which among other assessment information, includes an update on the science assessment stakeholder meetings and proposed science assessment timeline. The proposed implementation timeline for a statewide assessment system to meet federal ESEA requirements is as follows:

Spring 2015, 2016, and 2017: ESEA-required CST, CMA, CAPA Science tests will be administered in grades 5, 8, and 10

2015 – 2016: Development of ESEA-required science assessments and tools aligned to the NGSS are proposed to begin

2016-2017: NGSS Assessment Pilot Test

2017-2018: NGSS Assessment Field Test

2018-2019: NGSS Operational Assessment

CSTA has used this information to update our Estimated NGSS Implementation Timeline (now available online). This is an evolving timeline that is updated as information is made available.

Once again CSTA is reviewing the information in the agenda item and will provide input as appropriate.

CSTA thanks its many volunteers on the NGSS and Legislative Oversight Committee, together with the CSTA board of directors, for their work to review these many documents and provide input to CSTA so that we may promote high quality science education in California.

NGSS Committee Roster:

Peter A’Hearn, Palm Springs USD, Co-Chair
Carol Cao, Summit View School
Jim Clark, Arroyo High School
Elizabeth Cooke, Community United Elementary School
Mary Elizabeth, Martin Luther King Jr., Junior High School
Shay Fairchild, Norwalk La Mirada USD
Susan Gomez-Zwiep, CSU Long Beach – K-12 Alliance
Jill Grace, Palos Verdes Intermediate School
LaDonna Guzman, Santana High School
Lisa Hegdahl, McCaffrey Middle School
Laura Henriques, CSU Long Beach, Co-Chair
Kurt Holland, Science Guide
Mary Koga, Brea Junior High School
Joanne Michael, Meadows Elementary
Hope Oliver, Bret Harte Middle School
Rodney Olson, Crespi Carmelite High School
Katrina Rotter, Lowell High School
Katherine Schenkelberg, West High School
Mary Whaley, Monterey Bay Aquarium
Jeanine Wulfenstein, Gardner Middle School
Heather Wygant, Sobrato High School

Legislative Oversight Committee Roster:

Elizabeth Cooke, Community United Elementary School
Dean Gilbert, Orange County Department of Education
Melodie Hall, Eastside High School
Lisa Hegdahl, McCaffrey Middle School
Laura Henriques, CSU Long Beach
Kurt Holland, Science Guide
Elizabeth Marroquin, Matthew Gage Middle School
Pasquale Mazzulli, Inland Area Science Teachers Assn.
Heather Murphy, Biology & Chemistry Teacher
Marian Murphy-Shaw, Siskiyou COE
Jeff Orlinsky, Warren High School, Chair
Jeanine Wulfenstein, Gardner Middle School

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.

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CSTA Annual Conference Early Bird Rates End July 14

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

Teachers engaged in workshop activity

Teachers engaging in hands-on learning during a workshop at the 2016 CSTA conference.

Don’t miss your chance to register at the early bird rate for the 2017 CSTA Conference – the early-bird rate closes July 14. Need ideas on how to secure funding for your participation? Visit our website for suggestions, a budget planning tool, and downloadable justification letter to share with your admin. Want to take advantage of the early rate – but know your district will pay eventually? Register online today and CSTA will reimburse you when we receive payment from your district/employer. (For more information on how that works contact Zi Stair in the office for details – 916-979-7004 or zi@cascience.org.)

New Information Now Available On-line:

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.

Goodbye Outgoing and Welcome Incoming CSTA Board Members

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Jill Grace

Jill Grace, CSTA President, 2017-2019

On July 1, 2017 five CSTA members concluded their service and four new board members joined the ranks of the CSTA Board of Directors. CSTA is so grateful for all the volunteer board of directors who contribute hours upon hours of time and energy to advance the work of the association. At the June 3 board meeting, CSTA was able to say goodbye to the outgoing board members and welcome the incoming members.

This new year also brings with it a new president for CSTA. As of July 1, 2017 Jill Grace is the president of the California Science Teachers Association. Jill is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, a former middle school science teacher, and is currently a Regional Director with the K-12 Alliance @ WestEd where she works with California NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative districts and charter networks in the San Diego area.

Outgoing Board Members

  • Laura Henriques (President-Elect: 2011 – 2013, President: 2013 – 2015, Past President: 2015 – 2017)
  • Valerie Joyner (Region 1 Director: 2009 – 2013, Primary Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Mary Whaley (Informal Science Education Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Sue Campbell (Middle School/Jr. High Director: 2015 – 2017)
  • Marcus Tessier (2-Year College Director: 2015 – 2017)

Learn More…

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.

Finding My Student’s Motivation of Learning Through Engineering Tasks

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Huda Ali Gubary and Susheela Nath

It’s 8:02 and the bell rings. My students’ walk in and pick up an entry ticket based on yesterday’s lesson and homework. My countdown starts for students to begin…3, 2, 1. Ten students are on task and diligently completing the work, twenty are off task with behaviors ranging from talking up a storm with their neighbors to silently staring off into space. This was the start of my classes, more often than not. My students rarely showed the enthusiasm for a class that I had eagerly prepared for. I spent so much time searching for ways to get my students excited about the concepts they were learning. I wanted them to feel a connection to the lessons and come into my class motivated about what they were going to learn next. I would ask myself how I could make my class memorable where the kids were in the driver’s seat of learning. Incorporating engineering made this possible. Learn More…

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Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the California NGSS k-8 Early Implementation Initiative. This article was written by an educator(s) participating in the initiative. CSTA thanks them for their contributions and for sharing their experience with the science teaching community.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Unveils Updated Recommended Literature List

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson unveiled an addition of 285 award-winning titles to the Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list.

“The books our students read help broaden their perspectives, enhance their knowledge, and fire their imaginations,” Torlakson said. “The addition of these award-winning titles represents the state’s continued commitment to the interests and engagement of California’s young readers.”

The Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list is a collection of more than 8,000 titles of recommended reading for children and adolescents. Reflecting contemporary and classic titles, including California authors, this online list provides an exciting range of literature that students should be reading at school and for pleasure. Works include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama to provide for a variety of tastes, interests, and abilities. 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.

Teaching Science in the Time of Alternative Facts – Why NGSS Can Help (somewhat)

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn

The father of one of my students gave me a book: In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Walt Brown, Ph. D. He had heard that I was teaching Plate Tectonics and wanted me to consider another perspective. The book offered the idea that the evidence for plate tectonics could be better understood if we considered the idea that beneath the continent of Pangaea was a huge underground layer of water that suddenly burst forth from a rift between the now continents of Africa and South America. The waters shot up and the continents hydroplaned apart on the water layer to their current positions. The force of the movement pushed up great mountain ranges which are still settling to this day, resulting in earthquakes along the margins of continents. This had happened about 6,000 years ago and created a great worldwide flood. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the Region 4 Director for CSTA.