In October 2013, Achieve convened educators, administrators and science education experts from six states to help continue the development of the EQuIP Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Rubric.
This initiative expands the work of EQuIP for Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The EQuIP NGSS Rubric is a tool for educators and education leaders to use in identifying high quality, NGSS-aligned instructional materials through a criterion-based, peer-review process. Specifically the Rubric will allow users to evaluate materials based on their alignment to the dimensions of the NGSS, the strength of instructional supports and the use of regular assessments of both teaching and learning.
“The blending of practice, content and crosscutting concepts in NGSS performance expectations needs to be reflected in instruction,” said Dr. Jim Short, Director of the Gottesman Center for Science Teaching and Learning at the American Museum of Natural History, who is assisting in the development of the EQuIP NGSS Rubric. “Not only should these three dimensions be explicitly addressed in teaching materials, but instructional supports and assessments should also make clear to both teachers and students how interweaving the three dimensions contributes to student learning.”
The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has led efforts to recruit and train educators to be peer reviewers using the EQuIP NGSS Rubric as part of the organization’s process to identify high quality materials.
“Learning how to apply this tool is a great opportunity for teachers to immerse themselves in the NGSS,” said Emily Miller, an ESL and bilingual resource teacher in Wisconsin who serves on her district’s science leadership team and recently helped lead an NSTA meeting that introduced the EQuIP NGSS Rubric to teachers. “Educators will build their capacity to understand the standards, what it means for instruction to truly align to them, and they can share this information with lesson and unit developers.”
This feedback is critical to creating high quality instructional materials, according to Dr. Kaye Forgione, who worked on the development of the EQuIP CCSS Rubric for mathematics and is providing guidance on the EQuIP NGSS Rubric.
“Perhaps the most powerful use of the criteria in the mathematics rubric has been the guidance curriculum specialists, including teachers, provide to reviewers in crafting constructive, evidence-based feedback,” said Forgione. “This feedback will lead to the development of exemplary lessons and units that will support teaching and learning.”
The EQuIP NGSS Rubric is one of several projects that Achieve is facilitating to support states in their implementation of the NGSS. Teams of math, engineering and science teachers are continuing to develop K-12 model student assessment tasks that integrate the NGSS and CCSS.
After receiving feedback from districts, states and third party organizations, the task writers are now revising these models, which will be released online in January 2014.