California Close to Adoption of New Curriculum for NGSS
- By Dian Schaffhauser
For the first time in 12 years, the state of California is reviewing its K–8 science course materials for adoption of new resources in time for the spring 2019 semester. Many include a digital component, and not every publisher is going to make the cut. The state's Department of Education adopted the Next Generation Science Standards for grades K–12 in 2013. Now they're considering course materials that align with the standards.
A proposal in spring 2018 invited publishers to submit their resources. Nineteen different companies submitted a total of 34 programs, from Accelerate Learning's STEMscopes CA NGSS 3D to Twig Education's Twig Science. Agency-designated review panels have gone through the materials. While most received a "recommended for adoption" designation, a few didn't, primarily because they don't include content, which is specified in NGSS, and/or because they're weak in specific categories of standards or lack a well defined sequence of instructional "opportunities" along which all students can become proficient in the grade-level expectations.
The reviews also include a program summary, a rundown on how the program or resource aligns with NGSS, possible edits or corrections to be made and whether or not it adheres to state "social content" standards, such as the removal of references to specific company brands.
Anybody can access many of the resources as a reviewer. User names and passwords are provided on the department's "participating publishers" list.
Final recommendations for districts are expected by November.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.