Category Archives: reports

NGSS District Implementation Indicators

OVERVIEW: A short document titled- Next Generation Science Standards District Implementation Indicators was recently released on the Nextgenscience.org 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.

LINK: http://www.nextgenscience.org/sites/default/files/NGSS%20District%20Implementation%20Indicators%20-%20FINAL.pdf

 

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

LINK: https://www.nap.edu/catalog/23548/seeing-students-learn-science-integrating-assessment-and-instruction-in-the

 

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.

Enjoy

STEM Teachers in Professional Learning Communities: From Good Teachers to Great Teaching

The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future partnered with WestEd to create the following report- STEM Teachers in Professional Learning Communities: From Good Teachers to Great Teachers. This 22-page report includes:

– The Six principals of effective learning communities

– The 3 guiding questions: The impact of PLC participation on… a. Teacher content and pedagogical knowledge b. Teacher instructional practices c. Student achievement

– recommends models of STEM PLC support and areas for future research