Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Next Generation Science Standards for Today’s Students and Tomorrow’s Workforce: Through a collaborative, state-led process managed by Achieve, new K–12 science standards were developed that are rich in content and practice and arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally-benchmarked science education. The NGSS are based on the Framework for K–12 Science Education developed by the National Research Council.
SCONYC has been an active participant in the NY State Consortium for Science Education (See our Science Links tab) since its inception. In this role, we are a trusted advocate for quality science instruction, meeting with representatives of the State Education Department’s (SED) Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) arm. On December 12 of 2016, Consortium members demonstrated a “Three Dimensional” lesson at a meeting of the state Board of Regents in Albany and learned on that day that this adapted version of the New Standards was accepted by the state as the way science will be taught and assessed, going forward.
Refer to “P-12NYSSLS” in all searches for the NY version of NGSS: The New York State Science Learning Standards! Check out the Consortium on our Science Links page for an expanded view of our work with the SED and the impact of C&I’s “Road map” on you as a teacher of science.
Look below for a listing of some National Science Ed resources.
In the ever-changing world of education, it is never a bad idea to brush up on some of the national standards that relate to science educators.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Note that neither the SAT Subject Tests nor the optional SAT Essay will be offered going forward, as per a recent decision by the College Board. Click the link above to learn more.
College Board AP Exams
For most students, taking the AP Exam in May serves as the natural culmination of their AP course experience. Schools wishing to provide this experience to their students should be aware of the different AP Exams available, the responsibilities associated with administering exams, and the exam development processes that ensure college-level learning is being assessed.
Parents should consider the costs and benefits of encouraging children to make these commitments. Explore the AP exams by accessing the College Board site: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/courses
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
The “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA) was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015. It represents good news for our nation’s schools. This bipartisan measure reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation’s national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students. The new law builds on key areas of progress in recent years, made possible by the efforts of educators, communities, parents, and students across the country.
Decisions and opportunities involving funding within ESSA have been moved to the district level – an important change from the former “No Child Left Behind” protocols that depended on federal-to-State level distribution. School leaders and concerned educators must take this into account when advocating and planning for their schools and departments.
The New York State Education Department
Every Science educator in NY State should be familiar with the resources that the NYSED offers. Visit http://www.nysed.gov/ regularly! This branch of the State government in Albany is tasked with the development of curriculum and instruction, assessment, certification and professional development. Virtually every question you have about science pedagogy at every level can be answered or redirected at their site. While they collaborate with for-profit organizations like Achieve (https://www.wested.org/wested-news/nextgenscience/) and New Visions (https://www.newvisions.org/) the Strategic Plan that they developed with the NY State Consortium for Science Education designates them as the reliable proprietor for all Science education actions involving these and other stakeholders. Unfortunately, the NYSED never adequately funded by the legislature and is always at the mercy of personnel shortage. Our work with the NYS Consortium has shown SED to be dedicated workers, unable to advocate for themselves due to politics, plain and simple.
If there were ever a reason to join and participate in the associations under SCONYC’s umbrella, it would be to actively join us in supporting changes and improvements in science instruction. Instead of “waiting for the test” or languishing in the many passive conspiracy theories about what the “powers that be” are doing to your classroom, remember: Legislative/ legal action and direct involvement of parents (voters) in advocacy for better Science education works far better than latching your classroom door.
The J.SEAConsult List of Resources for 3-D Teaching and Learning
If you need a curated go-to list for hyperlinks to sites that can help you in todays limited range of professional learning for all grade bands, refer to the spreadsheet on our site. Refer to the grade band columns to click on resources in such areas as platforms, apps, best practices, engagement, lesson examples, phenomena, storylines, 3-D Labs, discipline-related tips & tricks, and field trip ideas. Each resource is also labeled as free of charge or fee based.
This list was designed to lighten the search load for science educators and gives a sense of what’s out there for us, going forward during these times of change. Resources are both in-class and distance-based. Be the professional in your school with the good ideas to help your colleagues. Gain expertise you can share and bring this to our member associations to make friends, find allies and stay ahead of the curve in your classroom.