Category Archives: reports

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?

The State of State Science Standards 2012

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute recently released a report titled- The State of State Science Standards 2012. The report includes:

  • A grade for each state’s science standards- 2005 and 2012
  • A list of 4 Problems with State Science Standards: An undermining of evolution; A propensity to be vague; Poor integration of scientific inquiry; and a lack of focus on mathematics
  • Report Cards for each state science standards based on A. Content and Rigor B. Clarity and Specificity
  • Appendices: Methods, Criteria, and Grading Metric and Detailed Grades 

Skimming this document- I have the following questions:

– How do the authors see the Next Generation Science Standards playing a role to remedy some of the identified problems and variances between state science standards?

– How do state leaders feel about their grades?

– Does this report lend support to the Next Generation Science Standards effort?

– What other issues exist in science education that may be impacting student achievement in science? Or is it all about finding the perfect set of standards?

Click HERE to download the entire report or individual sections.

Resources for Digging into A Framework for K-12 Science Education

If you have taken the time to read the entire Framework for K-12 Science Education.. then you should be congratulated. However, there are probably many science education stakeholders who would like a Cliff Notes version or a process for digging into the massive document.

Luckily, the brilliant and talented Kim Klinke at the Center for Inquiry Science has created a set of tools that are EXCELLENT for making sense of the document. These tools would be perfect for a session of professional development, working with science education stakeholders, or even for your own independent study of the Framework.

The materials include:

– A Cheat Sheet that provides a clear and concise overview of the framework plus some reflection/planning space Framework Summary

– Physical Science Overview Physical Science Index

– Life Science Overview Life Science Index

– Earth/Space Overview Earth and Space Science Index

– An exploratory activity for digging into 3 themes in the framework document.. could be used for a jigsaw activity Exploratory Activity

– You will probably want a copy of the framework document as well.