It is very unfortunate that it took a year to occur, but I am pleased to report that we finally had an excellent exchange of views about the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) at the San Mateo Union High School District Board meeting last night (3/7/19), and I feel more hopeful for the future.
I could post my presentation today, but that would give only my side of the story. I will defer that until I also have time to write a description of the presentations from the District and the ensuing discussion with the SMUHSD Board members. I hope to get that done before the end of the weekend.
After a wait of almost a year, the Next Generation Science Standards agenda item will finally be discussed at this coming Thursday’s (3/7/19) Board of Trustees meeting. A link to the entire meeting agenda is here. I have been told that the NGSS item will come up around 8:00 PM, but this timing is only approximate. The District will give the following PowerPoint presentation, and I have been granted six minutes to respond.
I just sent the following email to the SMUHSD administration and the Board of Trustees in preparation for this event:
Dear Board Members,
I am pleased that we will finally address the NGSS agenda item this coming Thursday, March 7th. I have reviewed Dr. Kempkey’s and Mr. Simmons’ presentation. Dr. Skelly has informed me that I will have six minutes to reply following it. I have specific comments that I will make in regards to the District’s presentation, but also request that you all be aware of the following.
Since the SMUHSD science curriculum is of paramount importance, since it has been over two months since I posted the following article summarizing my concerns, and since I have waited for almost a year to the day for this forum to occur, I sincerely hope that you will do me the courtesy of rereading ahead of the meeting this article from my blog and also the Education Week article that is referenced therein.
As I noted near the end of my article, I am NOT seeking the quixotic goal of overturning the District’s adoption of the NGSS standards, but I do have serious reservations about the adoption process and want to implement better public notification in the future before such major changes are adopted. Please refer to my meeting objectives stated at the end of my article starting with the text “Despite looking into this for a year now, it is not clear to me how involved the Board of Trustees really was in the NGSS adoption decision, and I hope the meeting sheds some light on that question.”
Thank you. I’m looking forward to seeing you Thursday evening.
Dr. David Kristofferson
I am posting this short note to alert followers of my blog that the controversy regarding the reported high drop rate in the Aragon accelerated math classes has been resolved. Additional information from a meeting I held on 2/15/19 with Assistant Principal Ron Berggren has been added to my earlier article Alarmingly High Drop Rate for Aragon’s Accelerated Math Classes?? Please be sure to read it carefully as it bears on a number of important educational issues.
The controversy first reported to me and expressed in the article title above has been resolved after I met with Assistant Principal Berggren. Please be sure to read my meeting report in the third Comment following this article.
There were 95 more AP Physics 1 exams taken in the SMUHSD in 2018 than in 2017. This was a 31% increase, larger than in any other subject area that attracts a significant number of AP test takers. Of these 95 additional test takers, 47 or virtually half did not pass the test (score of 1 or 2) when a passing grade requires only about 40% correct answers! This may be due in part to counseling advice given Aragon students following the change of the regular physics program to the new NGSS standards.
Five years after the Next Generation Science Standards were released, many districts still do not have NGSS textbooks according to Education Week magazine. Another bold experiment in education puts our kids at risk…
My discussion with SMUHSD regarding changes to the science curriculum continues…