Dear Students and Parents,
A shift in alignment of our science curriculum has begun and the transition will continue over the next couple of years. The current assessment for 10th grade is gone and will not happen next year, and the next generation assessment will move up to the junior year. It will have a soft rollout in 2019 and become the standard assessment in 2020. The CMT will still be taken by the 8th grade next year and will transition to alignment with the NGSS during the 2018-2019 year.
WHAT ARE THE NEW SCIENCE STANDARDS?
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are a new set of K–12 science standards that were developed by states, for states. The NGSS identify scientific and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas in science that all K–12 students should master in order to prepare for success in college and 21st-century careers.
WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT?
It has been more than 17 years since the National Research Council and the American Association for the Advancement of Science produced their reports from which most state science standards are based. Since then, there have been major advances in science and our understanding of how students learn science. Students need the kind of preparation that gives them the tools and skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly and continuously changing world.
When current students graduate from high school, more jobs will require skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) than in the past. The NGSS provide a strong science education that equips students
with the ability to think critically, analyze information, and solve complex problems — the skills needed to pursue opportunities within and beyond STEM fields.
WHAT WILL THE NGSS LOOK LIKE IN THE CLASSROOM?
High-quality education standards allow educators to teach effectively, moving their practice toward how students learn best—in a hands-on, collaborative, and integrated environment rooted in inquiry and discovery. Teaching based on the NGSS calls for more student-centered learning that enables students to think on their own, problem solve, communicate, and collaborate—in addition to learning important scientific concepts.