Fordham Institute Review of New Science Standards: Fealty to Conservatism & Canonical Science

Fordham Institute has published their  review of the draft of the Next Generation Science Standards.  Achieve wrote the the new science standards.   Achieve also wrote the math and reading/language arts common core standards.

Unchanging fealty to a conservative agenda and a canonical view of science education restricts and confines Fordham’s review to an old school view of science teaching.  Science education has rocketed past the views in two reports issued by Fordham about science education standards.… Read more

Curious Relationship Between NAEP Science Framework and the Next Generation Science Standards

There is a very curious relationship between NAEP Science Framework and the Next Generation Science Standards that I discovered while studying the NGSS and wanting to find out what was emphasized on the NAEP Science Assessments.  I had read on an NSTA list that I receive that someone had questioned the distribution of questions on the NAEP Science Assessment.  They had reported that the questions were distributed as follows: 30% Physical Science; 30 Life Science and 40% Earth Science.  … Read more

Do Standards Impede Science Teaching and Learning?

Over the next few weeks I am going to focus on standards- and test-based educational reform with an eye toward opening a conversation about how standards and high-stakes tests might actually impede science teaching and learning.

We begin by examining the science standards, which have been an integral part of science education since the publication of the National Science Education Standards by National Research Council in 1995.  Then in 2011, the National Research Council published A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts and Core Ideas.  … Read more

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 Science Education. The question is not “should we have standards.” Instead, the question and concern is that the development of standards appears to be driven by high-stakes assessments, resulting in an educational system monitored by test makers and data analysts.… Read more

High-Stakes Testing = Negative Effects on Student Achievement

In earlier posts, I have advocated banning high-stakes testing as a means of making significant decisions about student performance (achievement in a course, passing a course—end-of-year-tests, being promoted, and graduating from high school).  I suggested this because the research evidence does not support continuing the practice in American schools.

The research reported here sheds light on high-stakes testing, and shows why they should not be used to make decisions about students’ achievement, teachers’ performance, or to make sanctions or offer rewards to schools.… Read more

Review of the NRC’s Framework for K-12 Science Education

The Carnegie Corporation of New York, which funded the National Research Council’s project  A Framework for K-12 Science Education, also provided the financial support for the Fordham Foundation’s review of NRC Framework.  Although not a conflict of interest for the Fordham Foundation, it does raise questions about the Carnegie Foundation’s desire to fund an evaluation of its own funded project.  I doubt that Carnegie sent out an RFP to universities and organizations to write a proposal to evaluate the new Framework.… Read more

5 Attributes of the Framework for K-12 Science Education

According to the committee that drafted and wrote the final edition of the Framework for K-12 Science Education, American science education needs a complete overhaul, currently lacks vision, and does not prepare students for a scientifically and technologically-based society.

Helen Quinn, Chair of the National Research Council’s Conceptual Framework for K – 12 Science Education Committee had this to say about the state of science education in the USA:

Currently, science education in the U.S. lacks a common vision of what students should know and be able to do by the end of high school, curricula too often emphasize breadth over depth, and students are rarely given the opportunity to experience how science is actually done.

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