National Center for Improving Science Education (NCISE)

The National Center for Improving Science Education (NCISE) at WestEd was created to improve science and mathematics education for K-12 students.

A large part of NCISE’s work included preparing science and mathematics teachers for the classroom.

Specifically, NCISE:

  • promoted change in policies and practices for science, mathematics, and technology education at the national, state, and local levels;
  • bridged the gaps among research, policy, and practice in curriculum, teaching and learning, and assessment; and
  • helped people make informed and unbiased choices through research, evaluation, services, and products.

NCISE partnered with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to develop the Science Framework and Specifications for the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

NAEP, a Congressionally mandated program, gathers information on student achievement in selected academic subjects, which is then reported at national, state, and selected district levels. The Framework and Specifications guided the content and structure of the NAEP Science Assessment administered to students in grades 4, 8, and 12 in 2009 and beyond.

Other NCISE projects included:

  • evaluating projects to reform the preparation of prospective science and mathematics teachers and graduate programs for mathematics education specialists;
  • analyzing exemplary induction programs for novice science and mathematics teachers in the U.S. and reporting on induction practices for teachers in selected countries;
  • carrying out extensive analysis of science curriculum materials from 41 countries for the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS);
  • analyzing and reporting on U.S. and international innovations in mathematics and science education;
  • reviewing curriculum resources for grades K-8 technology education; and
  • connecting mathematics and science to workplace contexts.