Schools with Advanced Science Students Get Accelerated Pathways Advice

The organization behind the Next Generation Science Standards has developed a guide to help schools compress the timeframe in which science courses can be taught. The intent is to serve high-achieving students who wish to tackle more advanced content earlier in their middle or high school careers.

The "NGSS Accelerated Pathways" document doesn't offer curriculum. It focuses on three exemplar course maps that outline how a school might reorganize NGSS performance expectations into fewer courses without omitting any.

In appendices the material also tackles the question of how NGSS and Advanced Placement (AP) courses are conceptually similar.

"Districts and schools should maximize opportunities for high-performing students to learn the science in the Next Generation Science Standards as well as excel far beyond them," said Peter McLaren, director of state and district support for science at Achieve. "The accelerated model course pathways were created to allow this unique population of students access to advanced level and AP science courses sooner in their high school experience."

Achieve, a non-profit, was a lead partner, alongside the National Science Teachers Association and other organizations in creating the science standards. It also coordinated development of the newest resource.

NGSS has produced a five-minute video that explains the accelerated pathways.

The complete resources are available on the NGSS Web site.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.