Teaching and Learning Report

To: Michael Green
From: Asha Riley
Date: March 9, 2016
RE: Teaching and Learning Report


Next Generation Science Standards 

The Washington State 2009 K-12 Science Learning Standards are being phased out as the State transitions to the newly adopted Washington State 2013 K-12 Science Learning Standards (Next Generation Science Standards).

It has been nearly 15 years since the National Research Council and the American Association for Advancement in Science produced the seminal documents on which most state standards are based. Since that time, major advances in science and our understanding of how students learn science have taken place and need to be reflected in state standards.

Through a collaborative, state-led process, new K–12 science standards have been developed that are rich in content and practice and arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education. The Next Generation Science Standards are based on the Framework for K–12 Science Education developed by the National Research Council.

Washington adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in October of 2013. The transition/implementation process has begun in classrooms around the state. Development for the new assessments will began in 2014-15. House Bill 1450 supports the transition from a biology end-of-course assessment to a “more comprehensive science assessment” (HB 1450, p.9) in high school. Although the first operational year for the new assessment is currently unknown, it is predicted to be no earlier than the spring of 2018. Throughout this transition period, OSPI’s science specialists in Assessment and in Teaching and Learning will continue to provide information and support for the field. Until the new NGSS assessments become operational, there will be an overlap between the assessment of the 2009 standards and the implementation of NGSS. The 5th and 8th grade Science Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) as well as the Biology End-of-Course (EOC) exams will be administered to meet state and federal requirements. These exams will continue to assess student learning as detailed in the Washington State K-12 Science Learning Standards, adopted in 2009. Senate Bill 6145 requires students in the classes of 2017 and beyond to pass the Biology EOC exam to meet graduation requirements. When the new assessment becomes available, the plan for the transition of the assessment graduation requirement from the Biology EOC to the new assessment will be provided. In addition, all current Certificate of Academic Achievement options will remain available for high school students to meet the current assessment graduation requirement and will be augmented to support the transition graduation requirements when known.