CSTA Classroom Science

Priority Features of NGSS-Aligned Instructional Materials


Recommendations for Publishers, Reviewers, and Educators. The California Science Teachers Association and the science teachers associations of three other Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) west-coast states, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, have co-authored a white paper on priority features of NGSS instructional materials. This is the first time our states have collaborated to convey a common vision on an issue of great importance for the implementation of the NGSS. We understand all too well that for meaningful shifts to happen and to support the full vision of the NGSS, strong K-12 Instructional materials are required.

In addition to the priority features identified in the white paper, California adopted a Science Curriculum Framework in 2016 which includes guidance for instructional materials. CSTA supports the Science Curriculum Framework and its recommendations in addition to those provided in the white paper.

As articulated in the Framework, an additional priority feature includes California’s Education and the Environment Initiative Law of 2003 and its resulting Environmental Principles and Concepts (EP&Cs). We urge producers of instructional materials to reference Appendix 2 of the California Science Framework and uphold the vision of environmental literacy for California’s students with integrity. As referenced in the white paper, observable components of the student’s school or community and local environmental issues as local phenomena or problems provide an avenue for this seamless integration of the EP&Cs with the NGSS.

CSTA presented the white paper to both the California State Board of Education and the Instructional Quality Commission in November 2017.

The following organizations and individuals have reviewed and support the recommendations in the white paper:
•    California Science Project
•    Children Now
•    Code.org
•    California Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee (CISC) – Science Subcommittee
•    Helen Quinn, Chair, National Academy of Science’s Board on Science Education (2009 - 2014); Co-Chair, California Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee for Science (2014 - 2015); and Professor of Particle Physics and Astrophysics, Emerita, at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
•    K-12 Alliance @ WestEd
•    National Science Teachers Association
•    Nevada STEM Coalition
•    Ten Strands

If you would like to add your support for the recommendations, please contact Jessica Sawko (jessica@cascience.org).



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