January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

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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STEM Conference Hosted by CMSESMC

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. Register online today!

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.

Submit Your NGSS Lessons and Units Today!

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…

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.

Opportunity for High School Students – Los Angeles County

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…

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.

Science Education Policy Update

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.

Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.

NSTA Los Angeles Conference Features Many CA Science Leaders

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

The early-bird registration rates for the 65th NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Los Angeles is just days away (ends Feb. 3). And as the early-registration deadline approaches excitement is building for what is anticipated to be the largest gathering of science educators (both California and nationwide) – with attendance expected to reach 10,000 or more. If you have never had the pleasure of attending the NSTA National Conference, I recommend you visit their website with tips for newcomers that describe the various components of the event. A conference preview is also available for download. Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.