Jill Grace is the Director of the K-12 Alliance, a California-based Science and Engineering initiative of WestEd advocating for high-quality science instruction for all students.
Grace directs the design and coordination of programs for educators throughout all levels of education. She has served as the professional learning and technical assistance provider for programs including the California Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) K-8 Early Implementation Initiative and was involved in developing the NextGen Toolkit for Instructional Materials Evaluation (TIME). She is a Co-Principal Investigator on Empowering Changemakers: Urban Biodiversity Initiative for Teachers and Youth, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and is a collaboration with UCLA and LA Sanitation and Environment. The initiative is designing, developing, and testing a research-based professional learning approach to ensure that teachers—and ultimately their students—have the knowledge to act in a way that promotes zero net loss of biodiversity in their communities.
A core part of her work is to consult with school systems across California and other states to advance science education, teacher leadership initiatives, and NGSS implementation. She advised on the project that created A Blueprint for Action for Equitable K–12 Science Education in California: Initial Steps for Coordinated, Systemic Reform. Part of her work involves representing California on the Steering Committee for OpenSciEd and overseeing the California Field Test.
Grace led the writing team that developed the grade 8 learning sequence, Understanding White Sharks, which earned an NGSS Design Badge by the EQuIP Peer Review Panel. She is an executive committee member for the California NGSS Collaborative, mentors writing teams for its statewide professional learning events, is an Affiliate Member representing California on the Council of State Science Supervisors, and serves as a member of the California Environmental Literacy Initiative, California Science Collaboration Committee, and Biodiversity Expert Council for the City of Los Angeles.
Prior to her work with the K-12 Alliance, Grace was a middle school science teacher and the 2014–15 California Finalist for the Presidential Award for Mathematics and Science Teaching. She has been an adjunct professor for the Science Education Department at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). Her background also includes elementary science and informal education. She has a BS in Marine Biology and an MS in Science Education from CSULB.