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The Future of California Science: A Story of Leadership, Collaboration, and Legacy

July 1, 2020

As leaders of the teams that implemented and evaluated a six-year statewide effort known as the California NGSS Early Implementers Initiative, the coauthors of this paper have had a front-row seat for implementation of the California NGSS since their adoption in 2013. Coauthor Kathy DiRanna was also strongly involved in the new collaborations formed among science organizations that will be described in this piece. We document this story to attempt to capture the spirit and strategies behind the remarkable collaboration that is bringing forward a new era in state science education practice. We hope this account informs and encourages educational leaders, policymakers, funders, and all who are doing the hard but crucial work of advancing the NGSS and the Common Core.

Next Generation Science Standards in Practice: Tools and Processes Used by the California NGSS Early Implementers

May 1, 2018

NGSS Early Implementers is a four-year initiative created to help eight California school districts and two charter management organizations, supported by WestEd's K-12 Alliance, implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).Designed for professional developers and administrators, this report describes 10 tools and processes that are central in the professional learning provided to teachers and administrators in the participating school districts.The tools and processes are designed to aid NGSS lesson planning, NGSS instruction, and administrator support during implementation. The 10 tools and processes presented in the publication are listed below.Criteria for Choosing PhenomenaPhenomena-Based, Three-Dimensional Conceptual Flow5E Instructional Model for Developing Learning SequencesTeaching Learning Collaborative (TLC)Looking at Student WorkQuestioning Strategies that Promote Student DiscourseSense-Making Student NotebooksPrincipal AcademyWalk-Through ProtocolEvidence of Learning ProtocolAll tools and processes were created or adapted to be used explicitly for supporting NGSS implementation. The report describes each item, how it has been used, and how participants are benefitting from it. Other districts and schools can learn from, draw upon, and adapt the items to support their own implementation efforts.

Framework for Leading Next Generation Science Standards Implementation

January 1, 2017

When it comes to transforming science learning in ways envisioned by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), leaders play an essential role that up until now has not been clearly defined. This new framework provides insight into the full array of what leaders need to know -- and be able to do -- to lead NGSS implementation, from inspiration and vision to data use and quality professional learning.

High-Quality Science Instruction: Building Conceptual Understanding and Language Skills for English Learners

January 1, 2013

The confluence of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and 21st century skills provides an unparalleled opportunity to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education for all students, particularly English learners.

Equal Access to Content Instruction for English Learners: An Example From Science

January 1, 2012

Gaps in successful outcomes for English learners start with the lack of opportunity to develop academic language: the words used in a classroom environment to discuss lessons and material. This gap creates other gaps -- in achievement, college and career success, income, and language -- creating a cycle of inequity.