Posted July 23, 2014 by Cindy Workosky & filed under Blog.
In a commentary in Education Week, Arthur H. Camins explores the next steps for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and what it will take for success as states and districts begin to adopt them. Camins notes that the NGSS have avoided some of the major problems experienced by the Common Core Sate Standards because the NGSS development process has been open and transparent, state adoption has been voluntary and not leveraged by federal funds, and that the guiding premises of A Framework for K-12 Education–the foundation of the NGSS–were already widely embraced. Moving forward, he identifies five state actions that will support success:
· First, states should resist the temptation to tinker with the standards.
· Second, states should interpret NGSS performance standards as they were intended—examples of what integration of the three framework strands and incorporation of engineering might look like in practice.
· Third, states that adopt the standards must declare a moratorium on high-stakes science testing.
· Fourth, from an accountability perspective, it is important to recognize two characteristics of the new science standards. They represent a new learning sequence in which understanding builds over a child’s entire K-12 educational experience. Therefore, quick achievement of its expectations for students at all grade levels is unrealistic. In addition, some of the standards stretch current ideas about concepts students are able to master at particular grade levels. These aspirational expectations require teachers to adopt a practical, action-oriented research perspective.
· Fifth, federal, state, and district policymakers should give first priority to ensuring equity and adequacy of resources and long- term sustained professional development.
Click here to read the article in Education Week (July 22, 2014)