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Next Generation Science Standard Will Affect Santa Clarita Valley Schools

Concerned parents and other citizens have less than a month to offer their opinion on the Next Generation Science Standards, a reevaluation on the way science is taught in school.

Now in its second stage of development, NGSS is welcoming everyone to look at their proposed revisions and offer comments and criticism before Jan. 29.

“I think you’ll find there’ll be some costs and modified instructional material, but the way science is taught hasn't been modified standards since 1997,” said Phil Lafontaine, California Department of Education’s director of professional learning support division and the lead in developing these new standards. “A lot has happen, we have a better understanding of schoolhow students learn and what they need to learn. So it’s time we make that shift.”

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The first version received over 10,000 comments, mostly regarding simplifying the language and making it look consistent, Lafontaine said. 

The new standards will require students to apply content in a much greater level and help students realize that science is constantly changing, emphasizing the need for a process to investigate new information.

Part of this will be teaching cross cutting concepts, Lafontaine said.

“It’s important because in science there’s always a certain structure,” Lafontaine said. “With new info, you should look for the structure or scale that’ll help you understand that new area.”

Lafontaine said the new teaching strategy shouldn’t expect too much out of students that are already in the middle of their school experience.

“Any good teacher learns about prior knowledge students have and build off that, they shouldn’t assume what students know,” he said.

Twenty five states applied to be part of the process in 2011 and implementation will vary state-by-state.  

“In California we have legislation that requires the state superintendent to bring a set of standards to state board in July for their consideration, then they have until November to adopt it fully, modify or reject it,” Lafontaine said.

Article Name: Next Generation Science Standard Will Affect Santa Clarita Valley Schools 
Article Source: Santa Clarita News
Author: Ashley Soley-Cerro, Twitter