Georgia’s College & Career Ready Performance Index is Not Scientific But is a Media Darling

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Figure 1. Are you here to measure me again? Really!

The Georgia Department of Education would have you believe that the College & Career Ready Performance Index is based on scientific research, and is a valid and reliable “index” of school performance.

Each year during the spring, about 1.6 million Georgia students need to be in school so that they can spend hours upon hours being measured with the state’s CRCT, a multiple-choice  measurement devise.  … Read more

Fordham Report on Next Generation Science Standards Lacks Credibility

On January 29, the Thomas Fordham Institute published a report, “Commentary & Feedback on the Next Generation Science Standards (Commentary).  Nine people wrote the report, none of whom are “experts” in the field of science education.  Yes, most of them have Ph.D’s in science, but they lack the experiential and content knowledge of science education, science curriculum development, and classroom K – 12 science teaching experience.  The lead author of Commentary is Dr. Paul Gross, professor emeritus of life sciences at the University of Virginia.… Read more

Anthony Cody: Designer of Value-Added Tests a Skeptic About Current Test Mania

Guest Post by Anthony Cody

Follow Anthony on Twitter at @AnthonyCody

Defenders of our current obsession over test scores claim that new, better tests will rescue us from the educational stagnation caused by a test prep curriculum. And one of those new types of tests is an adaptive test, which adjusts the difficulty of questions as students work, so that students are always challenged. This gives a better measure of student ability than a traditional test, and can be given in the fall and spring to measure student growth over the year.

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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

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 National Science Foundation funded projects such as PSSC Physics, CBA Chemistry, BSCS Biology, ESCP Earth Science, ISCS, IPS, and to the National Science Education Standards published in the 1996.… Read more

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, and rely on either their own domain analysis chart of science, or in this case the Framework for K-12 Science Education developed by another prestigious group of educators and scientists.… Read more

Finding Common Ground to Build the Movement Against High Stakes Tests

This was written by Anthony Cody, who spent 24 years working in Oakland schools, 18 of them as a science teacher at a high needs middle school. He is National Board certified, and now leads workshops with teachers focused on Project Based Learning. With education at a crossroads, he invites you to join him in a dialogue on education reform and teaching for change and deep learning. For additional information on Cody’s work, visit his Web site, Teachers Lead.

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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 have intentional connections across standards. To provide guidance and clarification to all users of the standards, the writers have created a system architecture that highlights the NGSS as well as each of the three integral dimensions and connections to other grade bands and subjects.

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Science Scores on NAEP for 8th-Graders Not So Bad

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) published Science 2011, science results for grade 8.

A representative sample of 122,000 8th-graders were involved in the 2011 NAEP science assessment.  No student took the entire test.  Instead the 144 questions that made up the test were divided into nine 25-minute sessions of between 14 and 18 questions.  Each student responded to two sections. NAEP reported that no hands-on or computer tasks were administered.

The NAEP test assessed physical science (30%), life science (30%), and Earth and life science (40%).  … Read more