The Needle Is Moving in California K–8 Science: Integration with English Language Arts, Integration of the Sciences, and Returning Science as a K–8 Core Subject
This is the first in a series of evaluation reports describing how eight California districts and two charter management organizations are implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) through the NGSS Early Implementers Initiative, supported by WestEd’s K-12 Alliance.
This report explores the districts’ progress in integrating instruction of science and English language arts, transitioning to California’s preferred integrated sciences model at the middle grades, and making science a core school subject.
The findings through the end of Year 2 of the four-year Initiative include:
- Teachers reported spending more time on science integrated with English language arts in Year 2 of the initiative than in Year 1, through the use of recommended tools and strategies
- Districts and schools developed detailed plans to ensure that no student will be short-changed on important science content during the transition to NGSS; the Initiative provided professional learning for integrating the sciences
- At the elementary level, the worst-case scenario of little or no science instruction has nearly been eliminated among the project’s hundreds of Teacher Leaders; there also are some increases in science instruction minutes
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