CONNECTIONS AMONG THE NVACS FOR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, MATHEMATICS, AND ELA
The Nevada Academic Content Standards for Science, based on the NGSS, are directly linked to the learning progressions and developmentally appropriate targets in the Nevada Academic Content Standards for Mathematics and the Nevada Academic Content Standards for English. Each Performance Expectation of the NVACSS is correlated to grade-level mathematics and ELA standards intentionally to support a comprehensive K-12 system. Using these integrations in classroom instruction, for policy reform, curriculum development, and assessment system initiatives supports students in developing a construct of using the integrated disciplines to understand their world, rather than confining knowledge in isolated silos of disciplines.
The design of the integration is explained as a fundamental conceptual shift in Appendix A of the NGSS. It states:
7. The NGSS and Common Core State Standards (English Language Arts and Mathematics) are Aligned. The timing of the release of NGSS comes as most states are implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English Language Arts and Mathematics. This is important to science for a variety of reasons. First, there is an opportunity for science to be part of a child’s comprehensive education. The NGSS are aligned with the CCSS to ensure a symbiotic pace of learning in all content areas. The three sets of standards overlap in meaningful and substantive ways and offer an opportunity to give all students equitable access to learning standards.1
Additionally, groups of educators are working on structures to support classroom teachers in seeing these connections more clearly, developing integrated instruction material, and supporting all learners as they develop their understanding.
Some important work is already in progress regarding the implications and advantages to the CCSS and NGSS. Stanford University recently released 13 papers on a variety of issues related to language and literacy in the content areas of the CCSS and NGSS.5
The NVACS for Science, Mathematics and ELA stand well independently. However, when used as intended they form a comprehensive scaffold to support rich learning environments.
- NGSS Lead States. (2013). APPENDIX A - Conceptual Shifts in the Next Generation Science Standards. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
- Stanford University. (2012). Understanding language. Retrieved from http://ell.stanford.edu/papers.