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School Board Talks Back To PED On Science Standards

on October 3, 2017 - 5:42pm

LAPS News:

Recently, the Public Education Department asked for comments about their proposed science standards for New Mexico public schools. Being that Los Alamos is a community that highly values science, the Los Alamos School Board has written a response to PED.

The School Board recommends adoption of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). (See resolution below)

During last week’s School Board Work Session, board members reviewed and unanimously accepted the draft resolution with feedback about PED’s proposed science standards. Incorporated within the resolution were comments and suggestions from LAPS teachers and school principals.

The School Board recognizes that public schools play an important role in recruiting world-class scientists and engineers, entrepreneurs, and new economic opportunities for New Mexico. An important facet of the NGSS standards is that teaching of content is integrated with practices of scientists and engineers and allows students to apply the material.

The goal of Next Generation Science Standards is combating ignorance of science, creating common standards for teaching in the US and developing greater interest in science among students. So far, 18 states in the US have adopted the NGSS. Along with the new standards, LAPS is also asking to include New Mexico-specific additions to the science standards that touch on topics like alternative energy sources, local plants, the state fossil, the state’s role in nuclear science and much more.

The Los Alamos School Board encourages students, staff, parents and community members to submit letters to the Public Education Department about the proposed science standards no later than 5 p.m., Oct. 16. They also are invited to attend the public hearing 9 a.m. to noon, Oct. 17 at Mabry Hall in Santa Fe.

 
Los Alamos Public Schools
School Board Resolution
Title: New Mexico Science Standards

Whereas, the community of Los Alamos has a proud history and heritage of over 70 years of internationally renowned science and some of the most complex and exciting scientific discoveries the world has ever known, and

Whereas, Los Alamos is known as “the town where discoveries are made”, and

Whereas, Los Alamos National Laboratory protects national security and is one of the largest science and technology institutions in the world with a strong positive impact on the economy of New Mexico, and

Whereas, public schools play an important role in recruiting world-class scientists and engineers, entrepreneurs, and new economic opportunities for New Mexico, and

Whereas, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide students an internationally benchmarked science education, and

Whereas, the NGSS were developed in 2013 by a consortium of 26 states and by the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Research Council, and

Whereas, an important facet of the NGSS standards is that teaching of content is integrated with practices of scientists and engineers and allows students to apply the material, and

Whereas, the goal of NGSS is combatting ignorance of science, creating common standards for teaching in the U.S., and developing greater interest in science among students so that more of them choose to major in science and technology in college, and

Whereas, 18 states, along with the District of Columbia, have adopted the standards: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, and

Whereas, the development and adoption of new content standards in New Mexico requires the hands-on minds-on involvement of students, teachers, parents, and professionals in science fields, and

Whereas, it is essential in a modern science curriculum for students to explore science concepts in an open manner, including human impact on climate change, age of the earth, and evolution, and

Whereas, any dramatic overhaul of learning standards requires time and funding to develop and recommend appropriate curricula, multiple options for professional development, acquisition of classroom materials, and use of authentic assessment tools.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Los Alamos School Board recommends statewide adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) with New Mexico-specific additions (printed below) in lieu of adopting the newly proposed 6.29.10 NMAC - New Mexico Stem-Ready Science Standards. 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Los Alamos School Board encourages students, staff, parents, and community members to submit letters to the Public Education Department about the proposed science standards (no later than 5 pm on October 16, 2017) and to attend the October 16, 2017 public hearing scheduled from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, Mabry Hall in Santa Fe.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Los Alamos School Board recommends that the Public Education Department convene and fund a Science Education Working Group of teachers, administrators, and other experts to develop and recommend appropriate curricula, multiple options for professional development, acquisition of classroom materials, and use of authentic assessment tools.

ADOPTED at a Work Session of the Los Alamos School Board, September 28, 2017, by the following vote:

 

MEMBERS FOR RESOLUTION                       MEMBERS AGAINST RESOLUTION

 

______________________________                        ________________________________

 

______________________________                        ________________________________

 

______________________________                        ________________________________

 

______________________________                        ________________________________

 

______________________________                        ________________________________

 

ATTEST

By: _____________________________

                              Los Alamos School Board Secretary

Recommended New Mexico-Specific Additions to the NGSS  

The first digit indicates the grade level of the standards (K for kindergarten, MS for middle school, HS for high school)

K-LS-1 NM-1: Use observations of New Mexico plants and animals to describe patterns that animals need to take in food but plants do not; the different kinds of food needed by different types of animals; the requirements of plants to have light; and, that all living things need water.

1-ESS1-2 NM: Make observations at different times of year to relate the amount of daylight to the time of year emphasis is on relative comparisons of the amount of daylight in the winter to the amount in the spring (e.g., snow melting, spring break, flowers) or fall (e.g., fall colors, starting school, state fair, balloon fiesta).

(4) New Mexico science and society:

1-NMSS-1: Read texts to discover that people of all ethnic and social backgrounds practice science and technology.

1-NMSS-2: Use media to discover that people of all ethnic and social backgrounds practice science and technology.

2-ESS1-1 NM: Use information from several sources to provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly. Although there are no active volcanoes in New Mexico, many extinct volcanoes exist throughout the state.

2-ESS2-2 NM: Develop a model to represent the state of New Mexico and the Rio Grande and related water systems.

2-ESS2-3 NM: Obtain information to identify where fresh water is found on Earth, including the

Rio Grande and mountains.

(4) New Mexico science and society:

2-NMSS-1: Understand that everybody can do science, invent things, and formulate ideas.

2-NMSS-2 Use information from several sources to know that science has discovered many things about objects, events, and nature and there are many more questions to be answered.

(5) Engineering and design

3-LS4-1 NM: Analyze and interpret data from fossils to provide evidence of the organisms and the environments include the state fossil Coelophysis, a theropod dinosaur.

3-LS3-2 NM: Obtain information on plants and animals in New Mexico and their ecosystem to use as evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.

4-ESS3-1 NM: Obtain and combine information to describe the energy sources in the school’s community and New Mexico and how it benefits the community.

4-ESS1-1 NM: Identify evidence from patterns in rock formation and fossils in rock layers to support explanations of New Mexico’s geological changes over time.

4-ESS3-2 NM: Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on New Mexico’s people and places.

5-ESS2-1 NM: Develop a model using an example to describe the way the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact in New Mexico.

5-ESS2-1 NM: Obtain and combine information about ways your school communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.

(5) New Mexico science and society

5-NMSS-1: Use information to discover STEM careers throughout the state and know that people of all races and social backgrounds have these careers.

MS-LS2-1 NM: Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for how organisms and

populations (i.e. big horn Sheep, black bears, cougars, elk, deer, fish, coyote, wolves) exist together to create an ecosystem.

MS-LS2-4 NM: Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem in New Mexico (forest, grasslands, desert, Bosque) affect populations.

MS-LS2-5 NM: Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services in New Mexico (i.e. soil erosion protection, forest fire control, watershed planning, recycling, water purification and conservations).

MS-ESS2-1 NM: Obtain and combine information to describe the impact of volcanoes and faults on New Mexico geology.

MS-ESS3-1 NM: Gather and synthesize information on what geologic processes/formations account for the concentration of natural resources in regions of New Mexico.

MS-ESS2-5 NM: Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses results in changes in weather conditions in New Mexico due to regional geography.

HS-PS-8 NM: Describe NM’s role in nuclear science (Manhattan Project, WIPP, National

Laboratories).

HS-PS-8a NM: Explore and communicate a 21st Century innovation created by the National

Laboratories in New Mexico that demonstrates how advances in technology enable further advances in science.

HS-LS2-7 NM: Using a local issue, in your solution design, include the benefits of human activities that support the local population including reclamation projects, building dams and habitat restoration.

HS-LS4-6 NM: Identify a problem within the school community and create or revise a simulation to test a solution to reduce impacts on biodiversity

HS-ESS3-2 NM: Describe how scientific knowledge helps decision makers with New Mexico national and global challenges (e.g., solar energy, wind-generated electricity, geothermal energy, Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP), mining, oil and gas production, and population growth).

HS-ESS3-4 NM: Evaluate the influences of technology on society (e.g., bicycle, alternative-fuel vehicles, solar energy, wind-power, communications, petroleum, transportation, nuclear energy) including desired and undesired effects, and including some historical examples (e.g., telegraph, printing press, model-t ford, discovery of electricity, Manhattan Project.)

HS-ESS3-6 NM: Explain how societies can change ecosystems and how these changes can be reversible or irreversible.

New Mexico science and society:

HS-NMSS-1: Identify important questions that science cannot answer (e.g., questions beyond today’s science, decisions that science can only help make, and questions that are outside the realm of science).

HS-NMSS-2: Identify ways that science plays a role in many different kinds of careers and activities (e.g., public service, legislators, teachers, farmers, ranchers, construction workers, ranchers, energy workers, miners, movie industry support, landscapers, and ski resort snowmakers.)


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