Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas - Eric

Sep 16, 2011 - students should learn by the time they complete high school” and that this ... He suggests, for example, that engineering and technology may be given undue ... has taught and directed research at New York University, Brown ...
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Review of the National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education By Paul R. Gross September 2011 Foreword by Chester E. Finn, Jr., and Kathleen Porter-Magee

Contents Foreword .........................................................................................................................................2 By Chester E. Finn, Jr., and Kathleen Porter-Magee

Introduction and Background ......................................................................................................6 Content and Beyond .....................................................................................................................6 Doing It Like Scientists ................................................................................................................9 Therefore, in This Review ..........................................................................................................10

Content and Rigor I: How Much?..............................................................................................11 Content Doesn’t Just Expand: It Is Also Pruned ........................................................................11 Content and Rigor II: Emphases ................................................................................................15 “Practices” ..................................................................................................................................15 Scientific Reasoning ...................................................................................................................16 Engineering, etc. .........................................................................................................................18 Crosscutting Concepts ................................................................................................................19 Accessories .................................................................................................................................20 Summary and Conclusion ...........................................................................................................22 Appendix I: Common Grading Metric ......................................................................................24 Appendix II: Criteria for Science Content ................................................................................28

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Foreword By Chester E. Finn, Jr., and Kathleen Porter-Magee Science will soon join the short list of K-12 subjects for which American states, districts, and schools will have the option of using new, multi-state (aka, “national”) academic standards rather than standards developed by individual states. One can reasonably surmise that new assessments aligned with those standards will follow in due course, as will curricula, professional development, textbooks, and much more. Is this a good thing for American students and teachers—and for the nation’s future? It depends, of course, on whether the new standards (and ensuing assessments, etc.) are better than those that states have been devising and deploying on their own. Today, every state has its own unique version of K-12 science standards. A year or so from now, however, many of them are apt to be deciding whether to replace their individual standards with the new multi-state standards that a (privately funded) consortium of organizations (led by Achieve, Inc.) recently began to draft. The Task at Hand When those “common” standards are ready, we at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute will review and evaluate them. In the meantime, we are completing our review of existing state science standards and planning to publish those evaluations later this year. (This will be the fourth time that Fordham has reviewed state science standards. To see our 2005 reviews, head here.) We are laying the groundwork to assist states when the time comes to consider adopting the new “common” science standards, just as we did in July 2010 for the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CC