Category Archives: reports

WestEd: Evaluation of NGSS Instruction Implementation

WestED has a short report titled NGSS Instruction: A Powerful Lever for Equitable Learning, Language Development, and Learning in Other Subjects. This concise 4 page brief provides take-always and lessons learned from the supported implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS) in multiple K-8 settings. The evaluation brief provides ideas such as:

  • Focusing on science in students’ lives and cultures engages them
  • Science supports language development
  • Science integrates effectively with other core subjects.

The report highlights the challenges and opportunities associated with implementing NGSS. It acknowledges that shifting to NGSS-aligned instruction requires significant changes in teaching practices, curriculum development, and assessment strategies. The report emphasizes the need for teacher support and professional development to ensure successful implementation. It also suggests potential benefits, such as increased student engagement, improved scientific literacy, and better preparation for college and careers in science-related fields. The report concludes by emphasizing the importance of collaboration among educators, policymakers, and other stakeholders to effectively implement NGSS and enhance science education nationwide. This feels like a valuable guide for educators, administrators, and policymakers involved in the implementation and assessment of the NGSS in any context. Check it out.


Foundations of Data Science for Students in Grades K-12

Data science is a rapidly growing field that is revolutionizing the way we understand and interact with information. To prepare students for the data-driven world, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has released a new resource titled “Foundations of Data Science for Students in Grades K-12.” In this post, we will explore the key insights and recommendations from this resource, which aims to empower K-12 educators in integrating data science principles into their curriculum and equipping students with essential skills for the future.

The report highlights the significance of data science education in the 21st century. In today’s digital age, data is abundant, and being able to collect, analyze, and interpret data is critical for informed decision-making. By introducing students to the foundations of data science, we can prepare them to navigate the vast amount of information they encounter and help them to become proficient data consumers and creators.

The resource provides educators with key insights and recommendations for integrating data science into K-12 education. It emphasizes the importance of developing students’ data literacy, which involves understanding how data is collected, analyzed, and used to make informed decisions. You will find practical strategies for incorporating data science principles across various subjects, fostering critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills.

The report highlights the need for interdisciplinary collaboration, as data science can be integrated into subjects such as mathematics, science, social studies, and even the arts. Educators are encouraged to create authentic, real-world data challenges and projects that allow students to engage in hands-on data analysis and interpretation.

By incorporating data science education into the curriculum, students gain numerous benefits. For example, students develop skills such as data analysis, visualization, and communication. They also learn to think critically, evaluate sources of data, and draw evidence-based conclusions. These skills not only prepare them for future careers in data science but also provide a foundation for success in a wide range of disciplines and for just being a scientifically literate citizen.

Foundations of Data Science for Students in Grades K-12 is a valuable resource that empowers educators to introduce data science principles and skills to K-12 students. By equipping students with data literacy and analytical capabilities, we are preparing them to thrive in an increasingly data-driven world. With the insights and recommendations provided in this resource, educators can cultivate a generation of data-savvy individuals who can harness the power of data to make informed decisions and contribute to a better future. This feels like a powerful resource to add to our field regarding

Science Education in an Age of Misinformation

Stanford University recently released a report titled Science Education in the Age of Misinformation. The report makes the case for why misinformation is a problem and how scientists and science educators might address the problem. The report provides some clear recommendations and also some compelling examples.

You can access the full report as a pdf HERE. You can also visit the accompanying website HERE.

NGSS in the Classroom: What Early Implementer Science Instruction Looks Like

WestEd recently released a report on the NGSS Early Implementers Initiative in California. The report provides a call for NGSS teaching, features of high-quality NGSS instruction, and multiple snapshots of NGSS instructional sequences.

The report highlights 4 NGSS features:

  • 3D Learning
  • Phenomenon-based instruction
  • Engineering
  • Student Agency

I think my favorite part of the document is a comparison of two 8th grade science lessons at the same school. This comparison really helps illustrate the shifts we need to see in NGSS instruction.

I’ll be using parts of this support with my pre-service teachers and also with districts I support.

You can find the report HERE.

Reopening K-12 Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic- A Report

The National Academies Press recently released a consensus report titled Reopening K-12 Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic. This report is FREE and can be read online in your browser or downloaded as a pdf. You will also be able to purchase a hardcopy eventually if you wish.

I know that several school districts have already “made the call” on what school will look like in the fall of 2020. But this report could be used to support the decision to stakeholders and to use as a guide for future decisions. This report also provides support for how to reopen schools safely.

Here is some text from the report describing what the academies do and why it’s important- especially right now:

As we discuss in this document, the research on the spread and mitigation of SARS-CoV-2 is expanding rapidly, leading to greater clarity on some topics while also pointing out new areas for investigation. Guidance documents for schools and districts are emerging at breakneck speed. In July 2020, opinion pieces are dominating the news media landscape, many of them staking out positions on either side of a “to reopen or not” debate and making bold claims about what is “safe”. The politics of the moment are ablaze: one need only scan the headlines of U.S. newspapers to uncover the ways in which the politics around the question of reopening have overshadowed the scientific evidence.

The National Academy of Sciences (now expanded to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine) was chartered by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 to meet the government’s urgent need for an independent adviser on scientific matters. Our organization is founded on the principle that independent guidance based on scientific evidence is essential for making sound policy. Development of that guidance needs to focus on interpreting scientific research without political influence: essentially, independence is necessary to ensure the integrity of the guidance. Further, as the committee refers to in the Epilogue of this report, we know that evidence and data do not provide policy direction on their own: evidence and data must be interpreted, and these interpretations are never neutral. For this reason, the consensus study process at the National Academies demands that multiple perspectives are brought to bear on the available evidence: while “neutrality” is never possible, including multiple perspectives at the table can support an interpretation of the evidence that reflects the concerns of multiple constituencies and is as independent from individual bias as possible.

2018 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education

screen shot 2019-01-14 at 3.16.42 pmHorizon Research, Inc recently released their findings from the 2018 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education (NSSME+). The plus sign signifies the inclusion of some computer science in the survey. This project surveyed over 7k teachers of science, math, and computer science across the US.

This report provides some excellent evidence for future research, district implementation, teacher education, professional development, curriculum development and much more. The survey itself might be of interest to many and provides a strong model for developing surveys.


Click HERE to visit the NSSME+ site

Click HERE to download the report

NGSS District Implementation Indicators

OVERVIEW: A short document titled- Next Generation Science Standards District Implementation Indicators was recently released on the site. This document was built with multiple partners around the US and includes thoughtful recommendations using 13 Indicators of Success.

PURPOSE: This document provides school district leaders with guidance for moving beyond an implementation process that might only include a materials adoption and a quick alignment document. The 13 indicators can be used for making the case about how to thoughtfully and intentionally implement the NGSS over a given length of time.
AUDIENCE: District administrators, PD providers, teacher leaders, state science supervisors, etc.



Seeing Students Learn Science: Integrating Assessment and Instruction in the Classroom

seeing students learn scienceOVERVIEW: Seeing Students Learn Science is a new FREE document from The National Academies Press. This publication in meant to help us improve our understanding of how students actually learn science and to provide guidance as we modify and adapt our instruction and assessment practices.

The document contains 6 sections:

  1. Front Matter
  2. What’s Really Different?
  3. What Does This Kind of Assessment Look Like?
  4. What Can I Learn from My Students’ Work?
  5. Building New Kinds of Assessments into the Flow of Your Instruction
  6. You and Your School, District, and State

You can read the document FREE in your browser or download the pdf. Enjoy!

PURPOSE: Provide support to educational systems as we continue to implement the vision of A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards

AUDIENCE: Teachers, administrators, PD providers, assessment developers, etc



The Nation’s Report Card: Science 2011 NAEP

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) recently released the 8th grade science results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for 2011. You can download the PDF of the 23 page report HERE. The results show a slight increase in scores (since 2009) in most areas.

You may also be interested in the following articles on the results:

Overview from IES

Education Week


New Report- STEM Education, Science Literacy and the Innovation Workforce in America

The Bayer Corporation recently released a new report- STEM Education, Science Literacy and the Innovation Workforce in America. This report provides analysis and insights from the Bayer Facts Science Education Surveys conducted from 1995-2011.

This is an impressive report and one of my favorite parts is the list of 15 Universal Beliefs held by the stakeholders polled. See the inset image of those beliefs below. This list could be a foundational piece for making the case about the importance of STEM education in elementary and STEM education as a social justice issue.

#1: Science literacy is critical for all Americans young and old, scientist or non-scientist.

#2: U.S. global economic leadership and competitiveness are intrinsically linked to a robust science and technology innovation pipeline and workforce.

#3: America’s future STEM leadership is dependent on the country’s ability to recruit and retain more women, African-Americans, Hispanics and American
Indians (underrepresented minorities) in STEM fields.

#4: Improving science education for all students – especially girls and underrepresented minorities (URMs) – should be a national priority and begin at the earliest possible elementary school level since that’s where the STEM workforce truly begins.
#5: Science interest and ability are color-blind and gender-neutral: from an early age, boys and girls of all races and ethnic backgrounds are interested in science.
#6: Parents and teachers are critically important to nurturing children’s science interest, even if they themselves are not scientists or don’t have all the answers.
#7: In elementary school, science should be the “4th R” and given the same emphasis as reading, writing and mathematics.
#8: A hands-on, minds-on approach to science education is the best way for students to learn science and build crucial science literacy skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving and the ability to work in teams.
#9: The nation’s colleges and universities should revitalize pre-service teacher education in science.
#10: The nation’s in-service teachers should be given the tools and ongoing professional development required to be the best science teachers they can be.
#11: Students and teachers benefit from having direct access to scientists and engineers on a regular basis in the classroom.
#12: America’s leading research colleges and universities should rethink how they define academic success when it comes to undergraduate STEM students.
#13: For corporate America, STEM workforce diversity benefits the corporate bottom line by bringing a range of thought, skills and problem solving to the table.
#14: America’s STEM industries and communities need to more effectively communicate with all of today’s students about a range of issues including job opportunities and the fact that they are wanted and needed in these jobs.
#15: It will take a village to improve science education in this country and all stakeholders have a responsibility and a role to play.

My personal favorites on this list are: 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10. We must be relentless in our focus on elementary science, science as a social justice/equity issue, and excellent science programs for our pre-service and in-service science teachers.

Click HERE to read the full report.

How do you plan to use this report in your context?