CSTA Classroom Science
Science and Math: Working to Connect NGSS and CCSS
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
by Peter A'Hearn
All science people know that there is a strong connection between science and math, so finding the connections between the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core Math Standards should be a no brainer. Last year, Palm Springs USD conducted a dozen Science/Math lesson studies to explore the connections. We found many strong connections and also identified some challenges in putting the two sets of standards together.
The math and science teacher used a modified version of the K-12 Alliance TLC lesson study to plan their lessons. There were two teams from grades 6, 7 and 8, and teams for Earth Science/Algebra, Biology/Geometry, and Chemistry/Algebra II. Some o the lessons clicked perfectly, some failed awkwardly, and many lessons were learned about the challenges of implementing NGSS and the Math Common Core Standards.
One of the Biology/Geometry teams focused on data analysis (part of Geometry in the CCSS). They decided to do a science lesson based on HS-LS4-3:
In a pre-lesson, the class acted as predators of two kinds of beans in a cup. When they chose beans without looking they preferentially chose the larger kidney beans over smaller pinto beans. Click below to read the entire article....
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)
EQuIP Rubric for Science ReleasedPosted: Monday
April 14th, 2014
The Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products (EQuIP) Rubric for Lessons & Units: Science was released April 11, 2014. The Rubric provides criteria by which to measure the alignment and overall quality of lessons and units with respect to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The purpose of the Rubric is to (1) provide constructive criterion-based feedback to developers; (2) review existing instructional materials to determine what revisions are needed; and (3) identify exemplars/models for teachers’ use within and across states.
This document was developed in response to the recognition among educators that while curriculum and instruction will need to shift with the adoption of the NGSS, there is currently a lack of high-quality, NGSS-aligned materials. The power of the rubric is in the feedback it provides curriculum developers and in the productive conversations educators can have while evaluating materials.
For curriculum developers, the rubric and review process provide evidence on the quality and alignment of a lesson or unit to the NGSS. Additionally, the rubric and review process generate feedback on how materials can be further improved and more closely aligned to the NGSS.
As more NGSS-aligned lessons and units are developed, this rubric may change to meet the evolving needs of supporting both educators in evaluating materials and developers in the modification and creation of materials. For example, rubric scoring guides will eventually be added. Additional support materials will also be developed to complement the use of this rubric, such as a professional development guide, a criterion discussion guide, and publishers’ criteria that will be more focused on textbooks and comprehensive curricula.
School Districts Should Begin Planning Now for New Science Standards
By Trish Williams / commentary from Edsource.org
The Next Generation Science Standards, adopted last September by the State Board of Education, will better engage and educate all students in science, and better prepare them to enter more in-depth science, computing and engineering courses in high school and beyond.
I am a passionate champion of California’s new science standards.
The board adopted the standards based on recommendations by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and California’s Science Expert Panel, which included 27 industry and university scientists as well as K-12 science teachers.
The panel included two national superstars in the science community: Stanford professor emeritus and physicist Helen Quinn, who chaired the National Research Council panel that developed the original framework for these standards, as well as Bruce Alberts, a biophysicist at UCSF and editor-in-chief of Science magazine.
I attended the six days of study and deliberation by this panel, and was impressed with the depth and breadth of its expertise, and with its thoroughness and thoughtfulness. More....
by Peter A’Hearn
The CST tests are now well on their way out. There are science tests at grades 5, 8, and 10 set to take place at the end of the 2014 school year, but they will not affect a school’s AYP (they never have) and most likely will not affect a school’s API, which will likely be frozen for two years. Even when testing was still an issue, there was plenty that teachers eager to shift toward NGSS could do and now that the testing pressure is off, more teachers are looking at making the real changes that NGSS will require. (more…)
by Jessica Sawko, CSTA Executive Director
2014 will be a very busy year for the Next Generation Science Standards in California. On November 6, 2013, the State Board of Education took action on the issue of the middle school learning progression that they had left undecided at their September 2013 meeting. Their decision was to accept the revised recommendation that California adopt the integrated model as developed by the Science Expert Panel (SEP) as the preferred model for California middle grades science instruction, and to reconvene the SEP to develop a discipline specific model based on the domain specific model in Appendix K. The SEP is meeting on December 4 and 5 to begin this task. Once the SEP completes their work (estimated March 2014) school districts will be able to evaluate both – and choose between the integrated and discipline-specific models based on which they think will best serve their students. No further State Board action will be required to adopt the alternative discipline-specific arrangement. I encourage you to read NGSS for Middle Grades: Tips for Implementation – Step 1, Don’t Rush for tips and information.
2014 will bring a number of opportunities for science teachers to become involved in the NGSS implementation process:
Curriculum Framework Focus Group Meetings
The Curriculum Framework Focus Groups discuss several questions designed to provide guidance to the writers of the new science curriculum framework. Even if you are not selected to be a focus group member, all focus group meetings are open and public comment is welcome at the conclusion of the the focus group discussion. A draft list of questions focus group discussion is available online. (Please note: this draft list of questions is currently being revised, a finalized list of questions will be available in January). If you would like to provide input but are not able to attend a meeting in person, you may send you comments via email by February 18, 2014 (instructions on how to do so will be available when the final questions are released). Pending State Board approval in January, the focus group meetings will be held:
Curriculum frameworks provide guidance to teachers, administrators, and parents on how a standards-based curriculum is implemented in the classroom. Pending approval of the proposed development timeline by the State Board of Education at its January 15-16, 2014 meeting, recruitment for members of the Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee (CFCC) will begin in February 2014 and will last for 90 days, concluding in April 2014. Made up of 9 – 20 people, the CFCC will play a significant role in the revision of the Science Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (Science Framework). TheScience Framework will be revised to incorporate and support the Next Generation Science Standards for California Public Schools, Kindergarten through Grade Twelve (CA NGSS) and to reflect current research in science instruction. The CFCC will provide input for the initial draft of the revised framework in accordance with the guidelines approved by the SBE. CSTA will send out information to members when the application is available.
Even if you are not able to commit your time to serving on the CFCC, you can still participate in the development process. Public comment periods on the draft science curriculum framework will take place in the summer and fall of 2015.
New State Science Assessments
While there is no timeline in place yet, stay tuned to CSTA for information about how to be involved in the development of new assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards. AB 484, will be enacted on January 1, 2014 and calls for the Superintendent to consult with stakeholders, including, but not necessarily limited to, California science teachers, individuals with expertise in assessing English learners and pupils with disabilities, parents, and measurement experts, regarding the grade level and type of assessment. The recommendations shall include cost estimates and a plan for implementation of at least one science assessment in each of the following grade spans:
(i) Grades 3 to 5, inclusive.
(ii) Grades 6 to 9, inclusive.
(iii) Grades 10 to 12, inclusive.
CSTA anticipates that work on the development of the new assessment recommendation will begin in 2014.
According to the CDE:
Will middle grades science teachers need a new credential to teach the proposed integrated learning progression for middle grades 6–8?
Most middle grades science teachers will not need a new credential. Since middle grades science classes are considered ‘introductory’, most middle grades teachers will not need a new credential. The CDE and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) have been working together to determine credentialing requirements for the proposed learning progressions for middle grades. The CDE and CTC created a guidance document to assist teachers, administrators, and districts to determine which authorizations are eligible to teach this proposed model. This guidance document can be viewed here (DOC).
According to CSTA:
CDE is working on developing a document to help explain credentialing requirements for NGSS, including the integrated middle school standards. Once available, CSTA will post that information. In the meantime the following has been prepared as a guide.
MOST teachers currently teaching middle school will have no issues with credentialing if California adopts an integrated science model. Below is a chart which shows what teachers are eligible to teach based on the type of credential they hold. To check what type of credential you have, you can look on the CTC website and log in with your personal information (SSN, Name, DOB). For specific questions regarding your credential, speak to your credential analyst at your District or contact the CTC.
Here are the various types of credentials and what teachers should be able to teach:
Multiple Subject Credential teaching in a self-contained classroom
MSCP holders in a self-contained 6th grade classroom will still be able to teach in the self-contained classroom.
Multiple Subject Credential teaching science and another subject
MSCP holders in a self-contained 6th grade classroom will still be able to teach in the self-contained classroom.
Multiple Subject Credential teaching only science
MSCP holders teaching only science already hold another authorization which allows them to teach science. This might include a subject matter authorization (a general science authorization that allows k-9 science), added authorization or an added foundational level general science credential (see below). For most MSCP holders currently teaching only science will not need anything additional to teach an integrated science course.
Foundational Level General Science Credential
This is a single subject credential and allows the holder to teach any science through 9th grade general/introductory (integrated) science
Biological Sciences Credential
This is a single subject credential and allows the holder to teach any science through 9th grade general/introductory (integrated) science plus biological sciences K-12.
This is a single subject credential and allows the holder to teach any science through 9th grade general/introductory (integrated) science plus chemistry K-12.
This is a single subject credential and allows the holder to teach any science through 9th grade general/introductory (integrated) science plus geosciences K-12.
This is a single subject credential and allows the holder to teach any science through 9th grade general/introductory (integrated) science plus physics K-12.
Specialized Biological Sciences
This is a single subject credential and allows the holder to teach biology K-12 (nothing else) ** Holders of this credential cannot teach integrated science without further certification.
Specialized Chemistry Credential
This is a single subject credential and allows the holder to teach chemistry K-12 (nothing else) It is worth noting that holders of this credential are not able to teach middle school physical science as they are only allowed to teach chemistry. ** Holders of this credential cannot teach integrated science without further certification.
Specialized Geosciences Credential
This is a single subject credential and allows the holder to teach geosciences K-12 (nothing else). **Holders of this credential cannot teach integrated science without further certification.
Specialized Physics Credential
This is a single subject credential and allows the holder to teach physics K- 12 (nothing else) It is worth noting that holders of this credential are not able to teach middle school physical science as they are only allowed to teach physics. ** Holders of this credential cannot teach integrated science without further certification.
Developed by representatives from CSTA, CSP, K-12 Alliance, COE, and CDE - August 2013
CSTA Legislative Update
The California Department of Education is pleased to announce that it is recruiting members for five focus groups to provide input on the upcoming Science Framework. The Science Framework will incorporate and support the Next Generation Science Standards adopted by the State Board of Education in September 2013. Click here to apply by the December 2nd deadline.
SB300 (Chapter 480, Statutes of 2013) calls for the revision of the Science Framework to align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
Among the first steps in the revision of the Science Framework are the recruitment and subsequent appointment of focus group members by the California Department of Education (CDE). Pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Education, Section 9511, the CDE will convene at least four public focus groups of educators in different regions of California to gather comments on the revision of the Science Framework.
The following information on instructional materials selection procedures in California changes is worth your attention. AB 1246 (Brownley) has just passed the Assembly and is moving to the Senate. The bill was originally part of AB 250 which was signed by the Governor in October, but was removed in order to allow more work on this portion of the bill. The resulting bill AB 1246 calls for the adoption cycle of all materials to change from six to eight years, requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and authorizes school districts, to submit materials to the State Board of Education (SBE) for review. It also requires the SBE to adopt procedures for the review of said materials. Current law requires the Instructional Quality Commission (formerly the Curriculum Commission) to make the recommendations to the SBE. The bill is still subject to change as it winds its way through the legislature, CSTA will update CCS as changes occur.
Next Generation Science StandardsUpdate as of 4:00 pm, Wednesday, September 4, 2013: The California State Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards. The discussion regarding the arrangement of middle school standards is still up for discussion.
Update as of 5:18 pm, Wednesday, September 4, 2013: The California State Board of Education will delay decision on middle school arrangement of NGSS until their November meeting.
The webcast archive of the September 4, 2013 State Board of Education meeting is now available online. To listen to the presentation and public comment on Item #10 - the NGSS agenda item - use the navigation provided to jump to that section.
CSTA, through the support of its members, has developed this website to provide resources and information to all California science educators regarding the Next Generation Science Standards. Please use the links on the left to navigate through the pages.
If you find this information useful, and you are not currently a member of CSTA, please considerjoining today.
The next meeting of the California State Board of Education (SBE) will be on November 6-7, 2013. The meeting agenda will be posted 10 days in advance of the meeting and is expected to be posted on October 25. State Board meetings are open to the public and may be attended in person or viewed online.
NGSS Key Facts
Senate Bill 300
As one of 26 lead states, California is gathering and delivering feedback from state-level committees to the writers of the standards. Senate Bill 300, as chaptered, requires the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to present recommended science content standards. Senate Bill 1200, extended the presentation of new science standards to the State Board of Education to July 31, 2013. The State Board of Education must adopt, reject, or modify those standards by November 30, 2013.
Assembly Bill 484 (Bonilla) is a very large bill that will replace the STAR program with a new assessment system called CalMAPP21 (California Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress for the 21st Century). The primary focus of the bill is to suspend non-federally required assessments for the 2013/14 school year and offer new Common Core aligned consortium assessments in the 2014/2015 school year. While dealing primary with Common Core assessments, the bill does take some first steps in overhauling the state assessment system. As noted by the author in the hearing, this will not be the last bill on assessment, it is merely the first step.