Museums Step Up as Resource for New Science Standards

Museums and science centers are gearing up to be an important resource for teachers working to implement the Next Generation Science Standards. According to an April 11 article in Education Week, “some educators say that professional-development sessions held at museums…—unlike those at conference centers, universities, or districts—give teachers immediate access to the kinds of hands-on activities that the common science standards call for. In addition, such institutions often bring a wealth of expertise on both content and pedagogy, employing a mix of scientists and professional educators.”

The article draws attention to a study conducted at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago showing that one of its museum-based professional development programs led to gains in both teacher content knowledge and student achievement.

Click here to read the article


Wyoming state board sends science standards back to education department

The Star-Tribune reports that the Wyoming Board of Education voted on April 11 to return the NGSS to the state Department of Education for review, “the first formal action since a committee of teachers unanimously endorsed the Next Generation Science Standards and the Legislature hastily prohibited them.” It is unclear what that means for the future of the standards in Wyoming. Some members of the state legislature have opposed the adoption of the NGSS because of the inclusion of climate change.

Click here to read the article.


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.