NSTA Encourages Wyoming State Board of Education to Adopt the NGSS

In a letter sent today, NSTA strongly encourages the Wyoming State Board of Education to adopt and fully implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Last fall, a committee of Wyoming educators endorsed the standards, however, Wyoming’s legislature recently passed a measure intended to block the state board from adopting them.  Supporters are encouraging members of the board to move forward with a vote to adopt the standards. The matter will be addressed at the board’s next meeting on Friday, April 11.

Click here to read the NSTA letter to the Wyoming Board of Education

Click here to read an article in The Billings Gazette.

Click here to read an article from the online news service, Wyofile.

It’s Official! State of Illinois Adopts NGSS

Illinois has officially adopted the Next Generation Science Standards. The state board of education voted in January to adopt the new standards, but was awaiting legislative confirmation. According to an Education Week blog, the Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules has “no objection” to the adoption.

Read the Education Week blog here.

Oregon Becomes 10th State (+DC) to Adopt the NGSS

oregonAdd Oregon to the list of states to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The Oregon State Board of Education voted unanimously on March 6 to adopt the new standards that will prepare students to be college and career ready. Oregon was a lead state in the development of the NGSS and has gone through an 8-9-month state review process after release of the standards last April.

According to Crystal Greene, communications director for the Department of Education, “Oregon educators were very involved in the review process. We had a great team of educators who provided feedback.” She also noted the high level of enthusiasm for the NGSS from science teachers and from the state board.

Plans moving forward include looking at professional development needs for teachers and material alignment. Oregon is a local control state so implementation and integration will be led by local districts. The timeline for assessment is 2018-19.

Other states that have adopted the NGSS, include Rhode Island, Kentucky, Kansas, Maryland, Vermont, California, Delaware, Washington, District of Columbia, and Nevada.

Why My State Adopted the Next Generation Science Standards

In the March edition of Commentaries, a publication of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), Randy Dorn, Superintendent of Public Instruction for Washington State, explores the reasons why his state adopted the NGSS.

“The Washington State Board of Education adopted the NGSS, with full support from Gov. Jay Inslee and me, in October 2013. We did it because the standards will help students become literate in science. We did it because the standards are mindful of student diversity and equity. We did it because the standards are cross-disciplinary (as students learn about science they are simultaneously enhancing their reading, writing and math skills.) And we did it because it’s right for our students.”

Read the entire article here.


Next Gen Science Enters New Dimension

Evans_2The March edition of District Administration magazine explores the three-dimensional approach of the Next Generation Science Standards and how it will give teachers a “clearer picture of the reasoning their students are using to grasp key science concepts.” According to the article, “this more intensive level of assessment will be a critical tool for schools implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that are designed to boost STEM scores.”

The article includes insights from Dr. David Evans, NSTA executive director, and Peter McLaren, science and technology specialist for the Rhode Island Department of Education, and discusses the upcoming NSTA National Conference in Boston, April 3-6, where NGSS will take center stage.

Read the article here.

Learn more about the NGSS activities at the NSTA Boston conference here.


Dr. James McDonald Chosen as Curator

The February edition of Focus Magazine, published by Central Michigan University’s College of Education and Human Services, recently spotlighted Dr. James McDonald, professor of science education, who was chosen by NSTA to serve as a curator for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Read the article here.


Brookline Teacher Named NGSS@NSTA Curator

A recent article in the Brookline, MA, newspaper, Wicked Local, features the work of Janet MacNeil as an NGSS@NSTA Curator. Janet is a K-8 science coordinator for the Brookline Public Schools and will identify resources related to ecosystems.

Read the article here.

NSF Awards $2.9 Million to Develop Next Generation Classroom Assessments

According to a press release, the National Science Foundation has awarded $2.9 million to the Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago, CREATE for STEM Institute at Michigan State University, the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International, and the Concord Consortium to develop a new system of classroom assessments that align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The four-year, collaborative grant will enable the groups to create a dramatically different system that includes new task templates, assessment items, and lesson rubrics that integrate technology and advanced psychometric models to measure student performance under NGSS.

Read the press release here.