What's New At CSSS

Developing Assessments of Science Proficiency in K-12
On September 13, 2012, the science supervisors from Next Generation Science Standards lead states and the Council of State Science Supervisors Science SCASS had the privilege of meeting with the National Research Council’s Board On Testing and Assessment (BOTA) Committee on Developing Assessments for K-12 Science Proficiency to explore strategies for assessing science practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas as described in the Framework for K-12 Science Education. Panels of BOTA committee members and science supervisors explored the measurement challenges posed by the Framework and strategies for addressing these challenges.

Click here to view the workshop agenda and view the presentations for each agenda item by clicking on "presentation" beside the agenda item.

View the video of the meeting here.


Building Capacity in State Science Education (BCSSE)
BCSSE is a project of the Council of State Science Supervisors (CSSS) designed to provide sustained professional development for state science supervisors to gain fluency and utility with the National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education, create communication tools to disseminate key messages from the Framework to multiple state-based audiences, and develop a state-based strategic plan for work with the Framework and dissemination and adoption of NGSS. To access the tools that have been collaboratively developed through this CS3 project and more information about the Framework, click here.


Next Generations Science Standards
The Council of State Science Supervisors, through its members, is intricately involved in the development of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The Council of State Science Supervisors strongly encourages those that are passionate about science education to thoughtfully engage with the Framework for K-12 Science Education (this document provides the guidelines for the standards development) and provide feedback on the second public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards. For external resources that provide more information about the NGSS, go to www.nextgenscience.org. Additional resources connected to the Framework and the Next Generation Science Standards, including webinars, one page briefs, and presentations can be found on the BCSSE Tools page.


What Is the Impact of Decline in Science Instructional Time in Elementary School?
Many Council of State Science Supervisors members have anecdotally noted that the time spent on science education in elementary school in their states seems to be on the decline. Rolf Blank, program director with the Council of Chief State School Officers, dug into this trend by analyzing recent representative, comparable data from students and teachers in states. The key findings of this analysis are as follows:

Key Findings:

  • Instructional time for science in the elementary grades has dropped to an average of 2.3 hours per week, the lowest level since 1988.
  • Aggregated national and state-level data indicate that less time for science is correlated with lower scores, accounting for approximately 12 points on the 4th grade NAEP Science Scale.
  • States with higher average classroom time on science show a pattern of higher NAEP Science scores; additionally, states with higher average classroom time spent on hands-on science activities have higher NAEP scores.

To read more of this analysis and the sources of the data, click here (pdf).


2012 Conference Podcasts
The 2012 CS3 Annual Conference was recently held in Indianapolis, IN. Click here to access the agenda, podcasts of select presentations, and a gallery of photos from this gala event.