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.

Meet NGSS@NSTA Curator Nicole Vick

nicolevickIn a Feb. 3 article in the Galesburg Register Mail in Illinois, reporter Allison Goodrich conducts and Q&A with Nicole Vick to discuss her work as an NGSS@NSTA curator. Nicole is one of 55 curators chosen out of over 650 applicants nationwide to identify and vet outstanding resources, lessons, videos, and other materials to help teachers implement the NGSS. The resources will be linked to individual performance expectations and available this spring for FREE right here on the NGSS@NSTA Hub.

Read the article about Nicole Vick here:

Meet all 55 of the NGSS@NSTA curators here:

Photo Credit: STEVE DAVIS/The Register-Mail

Illinois Board of Ed Votes to Adopt NGSS

IL imageOn Thur, Jan 23, the Illinois state board of education voted unanimously to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards. A review by a legislative committee is needed to formalize the vote, but all indications are that the state will become the 10th to adopt behind Rhode Island, Kentucky, Kansas, Maryland, Vermont, California, Delaware, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

According to a blog post in Education Week, Oregon could be the next state to adopt.

Click here to read blog post in Education Week

District of Columbia Adopts the NGSS

In an 8-0 vote on Dec. 18, the Washington DC Board of Education voted to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards, bringing the total count of adopting states to 9. Adopting states include Rhode Island, Kentucky, Kansas, Maryland, Vermont, California, Delaware, Washington, and the District of Columbia. David Evans, NSTA Executive Director, gave testimony to the DC Board in November urging them to adopt the new standards. To read the a blog post about the testimony, click here.

To read an Education Week blog post about the DC adoption, click here.


Panel Recommends New Breed of Assessments for Science Learning (Ed Week Blog Post)

Ed Week’s Catherine Gewertz blogged today about the new assessment report being released today from the NRC.

Laying out a new vision for science assessments, a panel of the National Research Council Tuesday proposed that states design testing systems that integrate several key types of science learning, and blend classroom-based assessments with state-level “monitoring” tests and gauges of students’ “opportunity to learn.”

The proposal, detailed in a 256-page report, offers an expert panel’s ideas on how testing should change to fully reflect the Next Generation Science Standards adopted by eight states so far. The picture it paints departs markedly from current assessment practice, which tilts heavily toward students’ knowledge of science facts, and typically takes place in one large-scale statewide exam each spring.

Read the full blog post here

Read the NRC report  here


New Report on Assessment for the Next Generation Science Standards

The National Research Council is expected to release a new report on Tuesday, December 17 on Assessment for the Next Generation Science Standards. The report will draw on available techniques and current knowledge of assessment and will recommend strategies for developing new assessments that can accurately measure students’ proficiency with the new standards. NSTA will host a web seminar on the report featuring two of the committee members: Nancy Songer from Michigan State University and Joan Herman from UCLA. The web seminar will take place on Tuesday, January 14 from 6:30-8:00 pm. To register, click here.

NSTA Curators Begin Work to Identify Resources Supporting the NGSS


IMG_1733Over the summer, NSTA put out a call to science educators interested in serving on an expert team to identify resources for science teachers to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). A whopping 650 motivated individuals applied. In October, NSTA named 55 of them as NGSS@NSTA Curators and they began their work to identify and vet high-quality resources that will help K–12 teachers and school, district, and state leaders implement the NGSS.

The NGSS are new K–12 science standards that will give all students the skills and knowledge they need to be informed citizens, college ready, and prepared for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Twenty-six states led the development of the NGSS and NSTA was a partner in the process, along with Achieve, Inc., the National Research Council (NRC) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

IMG_1732NSTA is building an interactive website around the NGSS—the NGSS@NSTA Hub—that will serve as a home base for science teachers. The site will host an interactive version of the standards that will be easily searched and manipulated for ease of use. The site also will feature vetted resources identified by the newly named curators, and also provide crowdsourcing capability to enable teachers to identify and share their own resources, interact and collaborate with colleagues, and locate tools to plan their instruction and ongoing professional learning. The site, expected to be launched in spring 2014, will be a valuable resource for teachers who will need to make significant changes in instruction based on the vision of the NGSS. All NSTA resources on the NGSS can be found online at

IMG_1727The curators recently attended an NSTA regional conference in Charlotte, N.C., where they received special training on evaluating NGSS resources. In the coming months, the curators will participate in web seminars to further their understanding of the NGSS and how to assess instructional materials, identify and describe resources that address the goals within their topic, review the work of other curators, and participate in numerous discussions with one another and NSTA staff. They also will attend the NSTA National Conference in Boston in April. Each curator will receive a free NSTA membership for their year-long commitment to the program.

Stay tuned for more information about the NGSS@NSTA Hub and its debut this spring.


Oregon science teachers have plenty of time to switch to ‘next generation’ science teaching

On October 24-26, more than 3,000 teachers convened in Portland, OR, for the NSTA regional conference and a popular topic of discussion was the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Keynote speaker Stephen Pruitt from Achieve addressed attendees with the message that teachers will have plenty of time before they are expected to teach to the new standards and that they should focus on learning more about the NGSS and how to adjust classroom instruction.

“Be patient,” Pruitt counseled. “Don’t think you can walk in and do all NGSS… Pick one element or a few and do them well. We don’t have high-stakes testing staring us down. So let’s focus on teaching and teachers….. Right now, worry about good science.”

Oregon has not yet adopted the NGSS but the Oregon Board of Education is expected to address the issue before the end of the school year.

Go here to read the full story in the Oregonian.