development guide, and criteria for
textbook and curriculum developers.
Curriculum research and
development groups, including our
own here at AAAS, have begun to
apply the criteria to different curriculum materials. We’re currently
using the EQuIP rubric to analyze a
six-week unit designed to give 8th
grade students a strong foundation in
chemistry and biochemistry as preparation for high school biology (AAAS/
BSCS, 2014). So far, our analysis
indicates that the unit is well aligned
to several core disciplinary ideas in
physical and life science and to the
crosscutting concepts of matter conservation and patterns. Moreover, it
coherently builds toward a set of performance expectations at the middle
As others apply this tool and report
on their results, the rubric should
evolve to better meet the needs of educators who are evaluating materials
and of curriculum developers who are
designing or modifying materials.
Supply and Demand
With 11 states and the District of
Columbia—about 26 percent of the
U.S. student population—already com-
mitted to the new science standards
and more states likely to come on
board, the Next Generation Science
Standards are in a position to exert
significant influence on the design and
use of science curriculum materials.
By providing a common set of criteria
for judging curriculum materials in
the context of the new standards, the
EQuIP rubric can help the science
education community build consensus
on what well-aligned materials should
look like and what evidence devel-
opers and publishers should provide to
support their claims of alignment.
On the supply side, developers and
publishers need to take responsibility
for understanding and taking seriously
the changes called for in the standards
and for providing educators with valid
evidence for their claims of alignment.
On the demand side, teachers need to
take responsibility for understanding
the standards and for becoming more
critical consumers of publishers’
American Association for the Advancement
of Science (AAAS)/Biological Sciences
Curriculum Study (BSCS). (2014).
Toward high school biology: Understanding growth in living things. Manuscript in preparation.
Banilower, E. R., Smith, P. S., Weiss,
I. R., Malzahn, K. A., Campbell, K. M.,
& Weis, A. M. (2013). Report of the
2012 National Survey of Science and
Mathematics Education. Chapel Hill, NC:
National Research Council. (2007). Taking
science to school: Learning and teaching
science in grades K– 8. Washington, DC:
National Academies Press.
National Research Council. (2012). A
framework for K– 12 science education:
Practices, crosscutting concepts, and core
ideas. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
NGSS Lead States. (2014). Educators
evaluating the quality of instructional
products [EQuIP] rubric for lessons and
units: Science. Washington, DC: Achieve.
Retrieved from www.nextgenscience
NGSS Lead States. (2013). Next Generation
Science Standards: For states, by states.
Washington, DC: National Academies
Roseman, J. E., Linn, M. C., & Koppal,
M. (2008). Characterizing curriculum
coherence. In Y. Kali, M. C. Linn, &
J. E Roseman (Eds.), Designing coherent
science education (pp. 13–38). New
York: Teachers College Press.
Roseman, J. E., Stern, L., & Koppal, M.
(2010). A method for analyzing high
school biology textbooks. Journal of
Research in Science Teaching, 47( 1),
Jo Ellen Roseman (jroseman@aaas
.org) is the director of Project 2061
of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science, Washington,
D.C. Mary Koppal (mkoppal@aaas
.org) is Project 2061’s communications
It is sometimes said that scientists are unromantic, that their passion to figure out
robs the world of beauty and mystery. But is it not stirring to understand
how the world actually works—that white light is made of colors, that color is the
way we perceive the wavelengths of light, that transparent air reflects light,
that in so doing it discriminates among the waves, and that the sky is blue
for the same reason that the sunset is red? It does no harm to the romance
of the sunset to know a little bit about it.
—Carl Sagan from Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space [