Do Higher Science Standards Lead to Higher Achievement?

In a recent article in Scientific American, it was suggested that the U.S. should adopt higher standards in science, and that all 50 states should adopt them. When you check the literature on science standards, the main reason for aiming for higher standards (raising the bar) is because in the “Olympics” of international academic test […]

Anthony Cody: Dialogue With the Gates Foundation: How Do We Build the Teaching Profession?

Guest Post by Anthony Cody Note: This is the first of five posts on the dialog between Anthony Cody and his readers, and the Gates Foundation.  This post was originally published on Anthony’s site over on Education Week Teacher.  This dialog is a major contribution to educational reform.  Anthony Cody is one of the leading […]

Anthony Cody: Dialogue With the Gates Foundation: How Do We Build the Teaching Profession?

Guest Post by Anthony Cody Note: This is the first of five posts on the dialog between Anthony Cody and his readers, and the Gates Foundation.  This post was originally published on Anthony’s site over on Education Week Teacher.  This dialog is a major contribution to educational reform.  Anthony Cody is one of the leading […]

NCTQ Study of Assessment in Teacher Preparation Courses Flunks

In May, 2012, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) issued a report entitled: What Teacher Education Programs Teach About K – 12 Assessment.   Anthony Cody mentioned this study in a recent post entitled Payola Policy: NCTQ Prepares its Hit on Schools of Education. The title intrigued me, so I went over to the NCTQ website, and read […]

Next Generation Science Standards: Old School?

Sometime ago, we argued that there is little evidence that the National Science Education Standards published in 1996 and the Next Generation Science Standards released for public view by Achieve are any different than the content oriented projects of the 1960s.  The disciplines and content areas of science were seen as fundamental in those earlier […]

Next Generation Science Standards: What's Really Been Achieved?

Note:  This is the second in a series of posts on the Next Generation Science Standards.  You can read the first one here. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are the latest iteration of writing science objectives for the eventual purpose of testing students’ knowledge of science.  The objectives are developed by teams of experts, […]

Next Generation Science Standards: What’s Really Been Achieved?

Note:  This is the second in a series of posts on the Next Generation Science Standards.  You can read the first one here. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are the latest iteration of writing science objectives for the eventual purpose of testing students’ knowledge of science.  The objectives are developed by teams of experts, […]

Next Generation Science Standards Online for Review

The Next Generation Science Standards are available for public view. Follow this link to the Science Standards Survey (feedback) Website. According to Achieve, Inc., the corporation that is writing and publishing the standards: The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are distinct from prior science standards in that they integrate three dimensions within each standard and […]

Why a Single Set of Science Standards in a Democracy?

Why are we supporting the notion of a single set of science standards which has been done in mathematics and language reading/language art?  We live in a democracy.  One the of founding principles of education is that elected school board members for the more than 15,000 school districts are charged with making decisions for each […]

Scoring Teachers: Perversion by Policymakers

Policymakers have perverted teaching, and reduced the evaluation of teachers to a number based on questionable and unreliable data.   Not only do researchers at major universities caution policymakers about using Value-Added Models (VAMs), but using such a system that is based on student test scores will destroy the central character of teaching. As a […]

Shameful and Degrading Evaluations of Teachers by Politicians

Teacher bashing has become a contact sport that is played out by many U.S. Governors.  The rules of the game are staked against teachers by using measures that have not been substantiated scientifically.  For many governors, and mayors it is fair play to release the names of every teacher in the city, and their Value-added […]

Shameful and Degrading Evaluations of Teachers by Politicians

Teacher bashing has become a contact sport that is played out by many U.S. Governors.  The rules of the game are staked against teachers by using measures that have not been substantiated scientifically.  For many governors, and mayors it is fair play to release the names of every teacher in the city, and their Value-added […]

NCTE Says No to High-Stakes Testing

An article on Education Week reported that the National Council of Teachers of English considered proposals about high-stakes testing and the use of standards in public schools.  According to the authors of the report: the decision unfolded at the organization’s annual convention this past weekend in Chicago. As it does every year, the group accepts […]

In High Stakes Testing, Science Trumped by Math & Reading

This is a post I wrote five years ago today, and it sheds some light on the pressure that school districts experience as a result of high-stakes testing.  In particular, I draw attention to Atlanta cheating scandal which appears to have had its origins about five years ago when I first wrote this post.  There […]

In High Stakes Testing, Science Trumped by Math & Reading

This is a post I wrote five years ago today, and it sheds some light on the pressure that school districts experience as a result of high-stakes testing.  In particular, I draw attention to Atlanta cheating scandal which appears to have had its origins about five years ago when I first wrote this post.  There […]

Can Inquiry Continue to be a Primary Goal of Science Teaching?

Can science as inquiry continue to be a primary goal of science teaching in the burgeoning culture of common standards, and high-stakes testing? This is a question that I raised about a year and half ago. I am returning to the question now since the National Research Council released its report entitled A Framework for K-12 […]

If We Ban High Stakes Testing, How Can We Assess Learning in Science?

High stakes testing should not be used to make significant decisions about student performance (achievement in a course, passing a course, being promoted, graduating) and should be banned.  In this post we explore formative assessment methods, and show how teachers to make decisions and judgments about student achievement should use a combination of formative and […]

If We Ban High Stakes Testing, How Can We Assess Learning in Science?

High stakes testing should not be used to make significant decisions about student performance (achievement in a course, passing a course, being promoted, graduating) and should be banned.  In this post we explore formative assessment methods, and show how teachers to make decisions and judgments about student achievement should use a combination of formative and […]

The Consequence of Banning High-Stakes Testing in (Science)

American education in general, and science education specifically have been radically and negatively impacted by high-stakes testing. High-stakes testing, as set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), is the idea that the pressure of such tests will increase student achievement.  But one of the major studies cited here finds that the pressure […]

Why Science Educators Need to Oppose High-Stakes Testing

There are many reasons that we can site to oppose the use of high-stakes testing in American schools.  Yesterday, I reported on a case in Florida in which several middle school teachers decided not to do hands-on, inquiry-based activities with their students.  These science teachers decided that a more direct instruction approach was called for, […]

Why Science Educators Need to Oppose High-Stakes Testing

There are many reasons that we can site to oppose the use of high-stakes testing in American schools.  Yesterday, I reported on a case in Florida in which several middle school teachers decided not to do hands-on, inquiry-based activities with their students.  These science teachers decided that a more direct instruction approach was called for, […]

With Out Science Inquiry Activities, Science Test Scores Are Better

In an article in the The Palm Beach News, science teachers discovered that when they threw out the recommended science inquiry and hands on activities, their students improved their scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). I am not writing this as a protest against these science teachers.  They know their students better than […]

With Out Science Inquiry Activities, Science Test Scores Are Better

In an article in the The Palm Beach News, science teachers discovered that when they threw out the recommended science inquiry and hands on activities, their students improved their scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). I am not writing this as a protest against these science teachers.  They know their students better than […]

When It Comes to Science Education Reform, Are We Stuck in the Muck?

Education reform in general, and science education specifically is based on a standards-based reform (SBR) model that has its roots in outcome-based education (OBE).  The intent of OBE  in science education was largely student-centered, in that education was focused on measurable student performances, that are called outcomes.  In fact, many of the progressive models that […]

The Next Generation of Science Standards: Covering Science with Factoids

The Next Generation of Science Standards are under development by Achieve, Inc. and will be published next year.  Achieve will identify content and science and engineering practices that all students should learn from K – 12, regardless of where they live.  The science standards will cover the physical sciences, the life sciences, the earth and […]

3 Assessment Methods, but Dominated by One

As teachers, we typically use three general approaches to assess student progress.  These include: diagnostic assessment—assessing prior knowledge, attitudes, and abilities, formative assessments–everyday methods that we use to help students improve their learning and understanding of science, as well as a way for teachers to inform and improve their teaching abilities, and summative assessment—the assessment […]

Some Questions About the NSTA Position on the New Generation of Science Standards

In the most recent issue of NSTA Reports (National Science Teachers Association), Francis Eberle, NSTA Executive Director wrote an opinion piece entitled First Steps Toward New Science Standards. Although not an official position of the NSTA membership, the article does outline the general attitude of the organization toward the recent effort to develop a Conceptual […]

Progressive Science Education

I have been reading and have referenced on this weblog the October 2009 special issue of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching (JRST) on the topic/theme “Scientific Literacy and Contexts in PISA Science.”  The articles in the special issue provide a broad view of international testing as conceived in PISA, as well as the […]

Will "Common Tests" Answer the Question: What knowledge is of most worth?

There was an article in the recent issue of Education Week entitled Experts to Weigh in on Common Tests.  They will have their chance to speak to U.S. Department of Education in Atlanta, Boston and Denver. A bit of background.  Forty-eight of the 50 states have agreed to work together to develop “common academic standards”  […]

Will “Common Tests” Answer the Question: What knowledge is of most worth?

There was an article in the recent issue of Education Week entitled Experts to Weigh in on Common Tests.  They will have their chance to speak to U.S. Department of Education in Atlanta, Boston and Denver. A bit of background.  Forty-eight of the 50 states have agreed to work together to develop “common academic standards”  […]

Students Lag in Science So Says the National Center for Education Statistics

There was story on cnn.com today that caught my attention entitled U.S. students behind in math, science, analysis says.  The analysis was written by the National Center of Educational Statistics and was a summary analysis of several international assessments including the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), and the Program for International Student […]

Freedom to Change & Transform the Practice of Science Teaching

Carl Rogers wrote a book many years ago entitled Freedom to Learn.  One of the most significant chapters in his book was “My way of facilitating a class.”  I read this chapter many times, and it had a profound influence on the way that I facilitated my classes at Georgia State University.  As a result […]

Freedom to Change & Transform the Practice of Science Teaching

Carl Rogers wrote a book many years ago entitled Freedom to Learn.  One of the most significant chapters in his book was “My way of facilitating a class.”  I read this chapter many times, and it had a profound influence on the way that I facilitated my classes at Georgia State University.  As a result […]

High Stakes Assessment in Georgia Fail the Test

In the last two posts, I’ve opened a discussion on the high-stakes testing in Georgia.  More than 80% of the students who took the social studies test failed, and about 40% of the students failed the math CRCT (Criterion Referenced Competency Test). The Georgia State Department of Education is at a loss to explain these […]

Reading and Math Needed Before Science Can Be Learned?

The Science Report for the Trial Urban District Assessment recently became available by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Ten large urban U.S. school districts volunteered to participate in science testing, grades 4 and 8 in 2005, and the results of the test administration were just made available. Most editorial pages of newspapers in […]