Massachusetts* Involvement with NGSS & State STEM Initiatives

Key Considerations for
Common Science Standards
Holyoke Community College
September, 2012
Vision for revised STE standards
Anticipated shifts in revised STE standards
Key considerations and decisions for MA
(if time) Implementation planning
(if time) STE-related policies
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Vision for Revised
STE Standards
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
A 3-Stage Process
MA Adoption
The overarching goal of our framework for K-12 science
education is to ensure that by the end of 12th grade, all
students have some appreciation of the beauty and
wonder of science; possess sufficient knowledge of
science and engineering to engage in public discussions
on related issues; are careful consumers of scientific and
technological information related to their everyday lives;
are able to continue to learn about science outside
school; and have the skills to enter careers of their
choice, including (but not limited to) careers in science,
engineering, and technology. (NRC, p.1)
Guiding principles
Several guiding principles, drawn from what is
known about the nature of learning science,
underlie both the structure and the content of
the framework:
Children are born investigators
Focus on core ideas and practices
Understanding develops over time
Anticipated Shifts in
Revised STE Standards
Characteristics of any revised STE
standards (state and/or NGSS)
Attention to progressions of learning
Integration of practices (inquiry & design skills)
with content
Inclusion of Engineering
Career and college readiness perspective
Links to Mathematics & Literacy (ELA) standards
Attention to Progressions of Learning
Improve progressions of concepts and
skills (vertical alignment)
Base changes on learning progression
research as possible
Pay particular attention to PreK-8
standards to support High School and
Career & College Readiness
MA STE Strand Maps:
another representation of standards
Integration of Practices & Content
 Current MA 2001/2006 STE standards:
 Strong conceptual (content) focus
 Inquiry skills are separate
 Design process presented as content
 Upcoming revised STE standards:
 Integration of science and engineering practices with content to
promote analytical thinking and learning in context
 Note change from inquiry to practices!
 Practices includes both inquiry and design skills
 Focuses on just skills students are to learn, not instruction
Integration of Practices & Content
 Verbs in standards will reflect STE practices
 For example, predicting, investigating, designing, or modeling
 Practices will be strategically integrated with content
 Careful attention given to how a practice contributes to
conceptual understanding and vice versa
 Framework will include full list of STE practices and
emphasize that students should continue to engage in
full inquiry and design processes when appropriate
Thinking Analytically: Common Practices
Scientific Inquiry
Engineering Design
Ask a question
Define a problem
Obtain, evaluate and communicate technical
Obtain, evaluate and communicate technical
Plan investigations
Plan designs and tests
Develop and use models
Develop and use models
Design and conduct tests of experiments or
Design and conduct tests of prototypes or
Analyze and interpret data
Analyze and interpret data
Use mathematics and computational thinking
Use mathematics and computational thinking
Construct explanations using evidence
Design solutions using evidence
Engage in argument using evidence
Engage in argument using evidence
Practices of science and engineering very similar, with slight differences in purpose and product
Adapted from A Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2011)
Inclusion of Engineering
“Exponential advances in knowledge,
instrumentation, communication, and
computational capabilities have created mindboggling possibilities, and students are cutting
across traditional disciplinary boundaries in
unprecedented ways. Indeed, the distinction
between science and engineering in some
domains has been blurred to extinction”
(Charles Vest, former MIT President, 2006)
STE Career and College Readiness
Under discussion. Basic state elements likely
Breadth of exposure
General knowledge and skills in a range of STE subjects
Depth of experience
Opportunities for in-depth learning, projects, laboratories,
designs, field work, etc.
Advanced study: upper-level STE options
Capstone projects
Interest and ability to think analytically
Multiple pathways
Links to Math & Literacy
New Mathematics Curriculum Framework
Will allow us to write STE standards that
includes more explicit math
New Standards for Literacy in Science &
Technical Subjects (in ELA Framework)
Includes key disciplinary literacy skills
Contributes to effective learning of STE
A 3-Stage Process – option 2
MA STE Review Panel (State Revision Process)
MA Adoption
Considerations and Decisions
for State Adoption
3-dimensional standards?
Current MA standards 1-D
Content focused; cognitive verbs
Draft state standards (review panel) 2-D
Content with practices integrated in some
(replacing cognitive verbs in those instances)
Draft NGSS 3-D
Content, practices & cross-cutting concepts in each
Is that doable?
Treatment of Engineering?
State revision assumes same structure as current
MA 2001/2006 Framework
Equivalent strand for Tech/Eng
Equivalent Tech/Eng high school course
NRC Framework and NGSS treats engineering as
“applications of science”
Engineering design the focus
Integrates engineering core ideas into traditional
Scope? Structure
Are all the concepts, core ideas and topics in
NGSS what we want for all students?
Will high school be articulated as grade span
or end-of-course?
What is career and college readiness for
Is this doable, reasonable?
Is the NGSS something that we can
realistically implement in the next 5 or so
Does it go beyond the state’s ZPD?
Are their components that MA values that are
not represented in NGSS?
Are their components included in NGSS that
we feel are ‘nice to have’ rather than ‘all
students need to have’?
Please Provide Input!
For more information on NGSS:
Next public draft will be late November
Please provide feedback on broad
considerations and issues as well as specific
performance expectations
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Stay Involved!
Public drafts of Next Generation Science
Standards (May, 2012; ~ Nov, 2012)
Final version of NGSS (~ March 2013)
Discussions of viability of NGSS for MA:
consideration of pros and cons (~ early 2013)
Public comment draft of revised standards for
Board of Education (~ spring or fall 2013)
Final STE standards adopted (~ fall 2013)
Dissemination & implementation (~ 2013-2015)
MCAS Assessment Development Committees
(every year)
Initial Planning for
Implementation of Revised
STE Standards
Implementation planning
To make available a range of resources to support
schools and districts as they implement revised STE
Particularly focused on key shifts in revised STE
ESE role:
Identify currently available resources
Coordinate organizations to develop needed
Enhance access and sharing of resources by all
Possible resource categories
 Dissemination & Awareness Events
 STE Resources
Standards alignment documents
Curriculum, instruction & assessment resources
Tools for data-rich learning
Student learning supports
Observation instruments
 STE Professional Development
 STE Technical Assistance
If you have anything that could help others, please
share! (see contacts last slide)
STE-Related Policies
STE State Assessment
No change in MCAS structure anticipated at
this time
Continue to test at grades 5 & 8, end-of-course at
high school
Once revised STE standards adopted, will take
2-3 years to revise MCAS
Looking into performance assessments
formats and options (through RTTT grant)
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
School & District Accountability
NCLB Flexibility Waiver in effect next school
year (and for the next 3 years)
Changes how school & district calculations will
be made; redefines some subgroups
 Includes science in addition to ELA and Math
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Educator Evaluation
Phasing in revised educator evaluation system
5-step evaluation cycle
Multiple sources of evidence needed
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Admissions to State Higher Ed
ESE MassCore: “3 units lab-based science”
Which does include any technology/engineering
course taken for science credit
DHE Admissions Requirements: “3 sciences
(including 2 with laboratory work)”
Working with DHE to be explicit about recognizing
technology/engineering courses as science
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
John and Abigail Adams
Current: score Advanced on the ELA or Math
test and Proficient or higher on the second
test; AND have combined scores from both
tests that places the student in the top 25% of
students in the graduating class in their district
 Beginning with the class of 2016: Science and
Technology/Engineering (STE) will be added to
the Adams Scholarship eligibility criteria
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

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