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[See Program Standard B]
CURRICULUM FRAMEWORKS SHOULD BE USED TO GUIDE THE SELECTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF UNITS AND COURSES OF STUDY. The curriculum framework provides a guide for moving the vision presented in the goals closer to reality. Teachers use the guide as they select and design specific school and classroom work. By specifying the sequence of topics in the curriculum, the guide ensures articulation and coherence across the curriculum. Using the framework, teachers design instruction that is based on the prior experiences of students but avoids unnecessary repetition. The framework guides the students as they move through their schooling.
TEACHING PRACTICES NEED TO BE CONSISTENT WITH THE GOALS AND CURRICULUM FRAMEWORKS. The program standards do not prescribe specific teaching behaviors, nor should district or school policies. There are many ways to teach science effectively while adhering to the basic tenets of the National Science Education Standards, but they must be consistent with the goals and framework of the district.
[See Teaching Standard C]
ASSESSMENT POLICIES AND PRACTICES SHOULD BE ALIGNED WITH THE GOALS, STUDENT EXPECTATIONS, AND CURRICULUM FRAMEWORKS. Within the science program, the alignment of assessment with curriculum and teaching is one of the most critical pieces of science education reform. If the assessment system at the school and district levels does not reflect the Standards and measure what is valued, the likelihood of reform is greatly diminished. Assessing only factual information inevitably leads to emphasis on factual teaching—a situation all too prevalent in schools today. Decision makers at the school and district levels, as well as community leaders and parents, must realize the nature of the science that is being taught and the strategies by which student understanding can be assessed. This will require letting go of some traditional methods of accountability and developing new assessment policies and practices at the classroom and district levels that are consistent with the program goals of the district and the assessment standards.
SUPPORT SYSTEMS AND FORMAL AND INFORMAL EXPECTATIONS OF TEACHERS MUST BE ALIGNED WITH THE GOALS, STUDENT EXPECTATIONS, AND CURRICULUM FRAMEWORKS. An effective science program requires an adequate support system, including resources of people, time, materials and finance, opportunities for staff development, and leadership that works toward the goals of the program. It is encoded formally in policy documents such as a teacher's handbook and informally in the unwritten norms that determine routines. The support system must support classroom teachers in teaching science as described in the Standards.
[See Teaching Standard F]
RESPONSIBILITY NEEDS TO BE CLEARLY DEFINED FOR DETERMINING, SUPPORTING, MAINTAINING, AND UPGRADING ALL ELEMENTS OF THE SCIENCE PROGRAM. Although all school personnel have responsibilities, clearly defined leadership at the school and district levels is
Marking the culmination of a three-year, multiphase process, on April 10th, 2013, a 26-state consortium released the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a detailed description of the key scientific ideas and practices that all students should learn by the time they graduate from high school.