Category Archives: Washington State Science

WA STATE ONLY: High School Next Generation Science Field Test

Hi all- Below is a copy of an official bulletin from OSPI regarding an opportunity for WA State High Schools to apply to participate in a pilot of the upcoming HS NGSS Science Assessment.

Teachers, schools, and districts will soon need to make an important decision about participating in the field test that will support development of a high school assessment of the Washington State 2013 K-12 Science Learning Standards (Next Generation Science Standards). The field test will be administered as a separate online assessment for high school students and can be taken during a single 50-minute class period.

An application in the Washington Assessment Management System (WAMS) will open December 1, 2016 so that the District Test Coordinator for each district can indicate which schools, and the approximate number of teachers and students that will participate. The registration window closes January 31, 2017.

Purpose: The Washington State 2013 K-12 Science Learning Standards (Next Generation Science Standards) will be assessed for the first time in spring 2018. Before test forms can be constructed, newly developed test items must be field tested to ensure that the items are accessible to all students and that they produce results that are valid, reliable, and fair. These new, online field test items can be embedded in the online Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) in grades 5 and 8, but the paper-pencil Biology End-of-Course exam does not provide that same opportunity for the new high school items. This separate online field test for high school will ensure that the statistics used to construct future high school test forms are as accurate as possible.

No scores or reports: The number of items a student will see on the field test is much smaller than the total number of items that will be on the full assessment delivered in spring 2018. The cut scores for the full assessment will not be established until summer 2018. This means that no individual student scores will be generated from the field test. Without individual scores there will be no school, district, or state scores. Schools need to understand that the field test is not a preview of how well their students will do on the operational tests in 2018, but rather a way to help OSPI make sure the operational tests in 2018 and beyond are fair, valid, and reliable.

Participation: Students in Grade 11 are the target population for this field test. If the test is administered to an entire class, and some students in Grade 10 or Grade 12 are also in the class, those students are also able to participate. Students in Grade 9 are not able to participate in this field test. Students may participate regardless of science courses taken and do not need to be currently enrolled in a science course.

Test Format and Administration Time: The high school field test will be delivered online, using the same testing platform as the Smarter Balanced Assessments (the AIR Test Administration Interface and the WA Secure Browser). There will be selected response, technology enhanced, and constructed response items; most items will be associated with one or more stimuli. Most item formats are similar to those students have seen in the Smarter Balanced assessments so we anticipate that students will navigate the online functionality well. Students will see only a small number of items which should be completed within one 50-minute class period. The field test is a secure state assessment, so all OSPI test security protocols and training must be followed.

Testing Window: The testing window for the field test is May 1 to June 15, 2017. The field test will be administered during one day of that window, and within one class period for each student participating.

District Test Coordinators message: The information in this message was distributed to District Test Coordinators (DCs) via the Washington Assessment Weekly newsletter on November 14, 2016. That message also included directions for how to register schools for the field test, and information about which Designated Supports and Accommodations will be available during the field test.

Teacher Volunteers: While registration will be done “by school,” that does not mean that an entire school or grade level must participate. An individual teacher can give this field test to one class of students, or to multiple classes; or a group of teachers at a school can each test one class or multiple classes. The teachers and classes of students are not limited to science classes—students in any subject can participate. We hope that this flexibility will increase the number of students that are able to participate. Teachers interested in participating in this field test should contact their District Test Coordinator (DC) before January 31, 2017 and let them know of their willingness to participate. DCs are the only staff that can register a school for the field test.

Elementary and middle schools are not included in the registration options because participation in the online Science MSP includes the field test items embedded in the Spring MSP test.

Science Assessment Events Fall 2016 (WA Only)

Hi all,

Wanted to pass on opportunities to participate in development of the Washington State Science Assessment system. The text below is copied directly from a communication sent by OSPI.

Upcoming Science Assessment Development Events

The Science Assessment team is planning our next round of assessment development meetings. We are developing assessments aligned to the Washington State 2013 K-12 Science Learning Standards (Next Generation Science Standards).

This is your invitation to APPLY for item cluster development committees, test design planning meetings, and/or content review committees.

Separate meetings will be held for grades 5, 8, and high school.

Educators are encouraged to apply for the committees at multiple grades based on content expertise. For example, a middle school teacher with content expertise in earth science is encouraged to apply for grades 5, 8, and/or high school committees.

Item Cluster Development (Olympia): Teams of 2-3 committee members each write approximately 10 items associated with a common stimulus. The teams also develop rubrics designed to measure student understanding of the science standards. Item clusters will be developed for all four domains (Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences, and Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science). Each 5-day workshop will consist of 10-12 committee members.

High School                  October 10-14, 2016
Grade 8                        October 17-21, 2016

Grade 5                        October 17-21, 2016

Science Assessment Planning Meeting (SeaTac): Educators at each grade level review new science standards and advise OSPI assessment staff on design principles for new science assessments in grades 5, 8, and high school for the Washington State 2013 K-12 Science Learning Standards (NGSS). Fifteen applicants will be chosen for each 1-day committee.

High School                  November 7, 2016
Grade 8                        November 8, 2016

Grade 5                        November 9, 2016

Content Review (Olympia): Committee members will review stimuli, items, and rubrics developed during the Item Cluster Development Workshops in October. Participants will assure every stimulus, item, and rubric is scientifically accurate and gathers evidence about student mastery of the standards. Five applicants will be chosen for each 5-day committee.

High School                  December 5-9, 2016
Grade 8                        December 12-16, 2016

Grade 5                        December 12-16, 2016

Committee members will be chosen to provide a well-balanced group in terms of previous science assessment experience, content and grade-level expertise, and state demographics.

If you would like to apply for any (or all) of these events please complete the application survey by 5pm Friday, September 16, 2016.

Survey Application link: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2510696/e15c60f6978f 

If you previously completed our survey application in 2016 and would like to use that application (no needed changes) please email Jessica.Cole@k12.wa.us to have your previous application pulled from our database. Please state in your email which event(s) you are currently applying for.

Please forward this invitation to your colleagues.

Logistics
The committees will begin with breakfast each morning at 7:30 a.m. and will run from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. daily. Committee members are expected to attend the entire event. For their participation, committee members will receive:

  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Free clock hours
  • Personal travel reimbursement (mileage, dinner, parking, etc.), provided state guidelines and regulations are met
  • Lodging for those living more than 50 miles from the meeting location
  • Flights for those traveling over 150 miles from the meeting location
  • Substitute Reimbursement if applicable during the school year

The Item Cluster Development and Content Review committees will be held in Olympia, WA. The Science Assessment Planning meeting will be held at SeaTac, WA.

Accommodations for persons with disabilities can be arranged with advance notice by contacting Jessica Cole at 360-725-6298/TTY: 360-664-3631 or by email at Jessica.cole@k12.wa.us as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the scheduled event. The ADA does not require OSPI to take any action that would fundamentally alter the nature of its programs or services, or impose an undue financial or administrative burden.

WA-AIM Alignment Study and Science Development Activities

This year the Washington Access to Instruction & Measurement (WA-AIM) Alternate Assessment will have a number of activities which require both special and general educator participation.

WA-AIM Alignment Study: Five teams of 4-5 members will review the current English language arts, math, and science WA-AIM for alignment. Specifically, members will look at the alignment among the Performance Tasks and related components, Access Points, Essential Elements/Performance Expectations and the Washington K-12 Learning Standards.

Anticipated Date: Early November

Anticipated Duration: 2 days

WA-AIM Science Development-Performance Expectation Selection: Three teams of 8-10 members will select the Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations and focused SEPs and CCCs for use in the new WA-AIM Science. 

Anticipated Date: Early October

Anticipated Duration: 3 days

WA-AIM Science Development-Access Point Frameworks: Three teams of 8-10 members will focus on developing the Science Access Point Frameworks and drafting the Access Points, Requirements and Restriction for the Performance Expectations selected.

Anticipated Date: Late October

Anticipated Duration: 3 days

WA-AIM Science Development-Performance Tasks: Three teams of 8-10 members will focus on development of the Performance Tasks and item/question examples.

Anticipated Date: End January/beginning February

Anticipated Duration: 4 days

WA-AIM Science Content and Sensitivity/Bias Review: Three teams of 8-10 member will review the complete WA-AIM Science Assessment for content, sensitivity, and bias.

Anticipated Date: Mid to Late Spring

Anticipated Duration: TBD

Committee members will be chosen to provide a well-balanced group in terms of previous WA-AIM assessment experience, content and grade-level expertise, and state demographics.

If you would like to apply for any or all of these WA-AIM events please complete the application survey by 5pm Friday, September 16, 2016 for priority selection.

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2992791/WA-AIM-Alternate-Assessment-Teacher-Participation-Opportunities-for-2016-2017

Logistics

  • Breakfast and lunch will be provided
  • Free clock hours will be provided
  • Personal travel reimbursement (mileage, dinner, parking, etc.), provided state guidelines and regulations are met
  • Lodging for those living more than 50 miles from the meeting location will be provided
  • Flights for those traveling over 150 miles from the meeting location will be provided
  • Substitute Reimbursement offered as appropriate during the school year

 

The WA-AIM alignment and development meetings will be held in SeaTac, WA.

Please direct all questions in regards to WA-AIM to Toni Wheeler at Toni.Wheeler@k12.wa.us

Science Educator Survey (WA Only)

The Washington State Regional Science Coordinators are conducting a survey to collect data about the state’s knowledge, perceptions and concerns of the Next Generation Science Standards (Washington State Science Standards 2013) so that professional development can better meet the needs of teachers in the region. The information collected in this survey will be used in designing future professional learning opportunities for teachers and teacher leaders around the state.

This survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete.  Please forward this to as many K-12 teachers and administrators within your school district so that we can maximize survey participation.  If you are a district science leader and would like access to the responses from your region/district, please contact your local RSC.  We are happy to share the data as it becomes available.

Please note: This round of data collection will be open from May 9 – June 10.  

Here is a link to the surveyhttp://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2704243/Needs-Assessment-for-Science-PD

Thank you for your time and participation!

Georgia Boatman, ESD 123

Mike Brown, ESD 105

Vickei Hrdina, ESD 112

Scott Killough, ESD 113

Kat Laxton, ESD 121

Michelle LeLanne, ESD 171

Brian MacNevin, ESD 189

Jeff Ryan, ESD 114

Tammie Schrader, ESD 101

NGSS 101: FREE Online PD Modules

Last year I collaborated with the South Sound LASER Alliance- with funding from Washington State LASER– to build a series of easily accessible online professional development modules on the Next Generation Science Standards.

These NGSS 101 modules now live on a page titled NGSS 101, here at the Science for All blog. I’ve also embedded them here in this blog post for convenience in sharing.

There are 4 modules:

  • NGSS 101 Part 1- Overview
  • NGSS 101 Part 2- Science & Engineering Practices
  • NGSS 101 Part 3- Crosscutting Concepts
  • NGSS 101 Part 4- Engineering Design

Below you will find the video modules embedded in the page. Each video module asks you to engage with a variety of documents, external video clips and links. You will find the documents and links for each module directly underneath the video module.

NOTE: These modules were originally created in another online platform called Brainshark- so you may hear some references to the original platform that are no longer relevant.

NGSS 101 Part 1- NGSS Overview

NGSS 101 Part 1 Links and Documents

NGSS 101 Part 2- Science & Engineering Practices

NGSS 101 Part 2 Links and Documents

NGSS 101 Part 3- Crosscutting Concepts

NGSS 101 Part 3 Links and Documents

NGSS 101 Part 4- Engineering Design

NGSS 101 Part 4 Links and Documents

Helping Administrators Understand the NGSS

It is critically important that building and district administrators in K-12 education have a solid understanding of the Next Generation Science Standards. If administrators have a limited understanding of NGSS then they are more likely to design NGSS implementation plans via professional development, curriculum adoption, assessment writing, etc in a shallow way.

Here are some key resources for guiding administrators to understand the vision behind and shifts required by NGSS:

  1. A powerful Practice Brief (What school building administrators should know about the new vision for K-12 science education)
    from stemteachingtools.org designed specifically for administrators. This is a “slick” 2 sided pdf with intentional hyperlinks to key resources.
  2. Document on the overlaps between NGSS and Common Core Math and ELA
  3. New Vision for Science Education Document (A 1-pager of shifts)
  4. Key resources on the NSTA NGSS site for NGSS Professional Learning
  5. Video: A New Vision for Science Education
  6. All Standards, All Students Case Studies from NGSS (These provide a snapshot of what NGSS instruction looks like with a focus on Equity)
  7. Guide to Implementing NGSS (This is a must read for anyone who is guiding NGSS implementation work… lots of great guidance here. Even skimming the Table of Contents will give you lots to consider…)
  8. Designing Professional Development for Teachers of Science and Mathematics 3rd Edition (This is the “Bible” for designing thoughtful science professional development)
  9. The Logan Center for Education at the Institute for Systems Biology has a great series of 3 Case Studies with a facilitation guide that tell the story of how science education has shifted over the last few decades of reform.

What other resources might be useful for building and district administrators who are just starting to learn about NGSS? What might be the important entry points for working with administrators who are juggling multiple initiatives with limited resources?

WA State: LASER STEM Education Leadership Institute

Washington State LASER is offering a week-long STEM Education Leadership Institute to be held June 22-26, 2015 in Lynnwood, WA. For registration information and more details about the institute click HERE.

Applications for teams are due April 3, 2015.

Washington State to Collaborate on NGSS Assessment Development

I’ve been waiting anxiously to hear whether Washington State would be developing our own NGSS state-wide assessments or if we would partner with others states. Today the word came out that Washington will in fact be working as part of a collaborative group. Below is text from the official announcement from OSPI.

Beginning of development for 2013 (NGSS) Standards

We are happy to announce that Washington has joined a collaborative group of states to begin the development of assessments based on the Next Generation Science Standards (known in Washington as the Washington State 2013 K-12 Science Learning Standards). The group work is being coordinated by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The first step of the collaboration is to develop item specifications based on the Standards.

Dawn Cope and Cinda Parton will be attending the group meetings this winter and spring. We will keep you posted about the progress, and if there are opportunities for educator reviews of the documents during the development stages we will make sure to let you know.

The first state-wide assessments of these new standards are expected to be administered in spring 2017 or spring 2018