California’s Science Instructional Materials Adoption

In September 2013, the State Board of Education adopted the Next Generation Science Standards for California Public Schools, kindergarten through grade 12 (CA NGSS) based on the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Rigorous standards, supported by aligned, high quality instructional materials, are critical for student learning and teacher success.

Learn more about what’s unique about science instructional materials: PhenomenaThree Dimensional LearningBuilding K-12 ProgressionsAll Standards, All Students

Additional Resources: California Instructional Quality Commission’s Preliminary Science Materials ReportCalifornia Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS)California Framework for K-12 Science EducationScience Innovations Instructional Materials Guidance (PEEC)

Science Instructional Material Reviews, a partner of the CalCurriculum project, began reviewing science materials this year to empower districts with information to choose high-quality, aligned curriculum designed to meet the new standards. The organization conducted a comprehensive process, including working closely with expert science educators to develop a review rubric with criteria and indicators that embrace the innovations in the NGSS.

The EdReports science review rubric evaluates for the NGSS design including:

  1. The three dimensions of learning and assessment: disciplinary core ideas, crosscutting concepts, and scientific and engineering practices
  2. The role of scientific phenomena and engineering problems in the learning process
  3. Coherent learning progressions with a focus on access for all students  

These science reviews can provide a crucial entry point for districts making decisions about science curriculum because they help indicate what high-quality science materials look like and empower district leaders with clear evidence about standards alignment and usability.

Timeline for additional CalCurriculum supports:

November 2018: California science instructional materials recommendations published.

Winter 2018: EdReports middle school science reviews and additional science resources published.

Fall 2019: EdReports K-5 science reviews and additional middle school reviews likely to be published.

Recommendations for a Science Materials Adoption Process

CalCurriculum has tailored our adoption process (developed with and for districts) to the unique attributes of science materials adoption. We currently offer grant-funded workshops to support districts through their science adoption process. Email to learn more or request a workshop.

Overview of Science Adoption Process

  1. Pre-work: Understand your district’s prior adoption process to set parameters and goals for this new adoption process, taking your district’s specific content into consideration. Establish a committee with members who have a strong understanding of the CA NGSS and instructional materials. Build support for your process by engaging all stakeholders impacted by adoption decisions (school board, parents, unions, etc).
  2. Alignment: Review CDE preliminary adoption report on adopting science materials. Ensure that materials are aligned to NGSS Standards and Innovations with NextGen TIME’s tools and the forthcoming EdReports reviews.
  3. Local priorities: After establishing standards alignment, further narrow your selections by determining how well materials meet the local priorities and select three to four materials to pilot or study through a professional learning community.
  4. Decision: Lead your team through a decision-making process and prepare to share the data and how the process worked with stakeholders.
  5. Implementation: Plan for supplementing your materials (as needed), training, developing your staff, and assessing effectiveness over the next several years.

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