Lessons Learned from the NGSS Early Implementer Districts
Achieve today released two documents examining some lessons learned from the California K-8 Early Implementation Initiative. The initiative began in August 2014 and was developed by the K-12 Alliance at WestEd, with close collaborative input on its design and objectives from the State Board of Education, the California Department of Education, and Achieve.
Eight (8) traditional school districts and two (2) charter management organizations were selected to participate in the initiative, becoming the first districts in California to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Those districts included Galt Joint Union Elementary, Kings Canyon Joint Unified, Lakeside Union, Oakland Unified, Palm Springs Unified, San Diego Unified, Tracy Joint Unified, Vista Unified, Aspire, and High Tech High.
To more closely examine some of the early successes and challenges experienced by the Early Implementer LEAs, Achieve interviewed nine of the ten participating districts and compiled that information into two resources, focusing primarily on professional learning and instructional materials.
Lessons Learned from the NGSS Early Implementer Districts: Professional Learning illustrates some of the content, design, and formats that early implementer districts used for professional learning - for both teachers and administrators - and highlights some criteria they used when selecting or designing professional learning programs.
Lessons Learned from the NGSS Early Implementer Districts: Instructional Materials illustrates various approaches for district-level transitions to aligned instructional materials, highlights some criteria the districts used to develop instructional materials, and features sample resources and student work.
Both resources are designed to help guide district leaders across the nation as they transition to the NGSS. They are not intended to imply that specific approaches or methods used by the early implementer districts are better than others, rather the focus on professional learning and instructional materials reflect a variety of approaches that these districts have taken during the early stages of implementing new science standards.
Additionally, a methodology document provides details about Achieve's interview process with the districts and highlights some important demographics for each district. The development of these resources was made possible by generous support from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Download the resources here.
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