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Assessing the Genetics Content in the Next Generation Science Standards.

Lontok KS, Zhang H, Dougherty MJ - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: We found that expert reviewers cannot identify ASHG core concepts within the new standards with high reliability, suggesting that the scope of content addressed by the standards may be inconsistently interpreted.Finally, state standards vary widely in their coverage of genetics concepts when compared with the NGSS.On average, however, the NGSS support genetic literacy better than extant state standards.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: American Society of Human Genetics, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Science standards have a long history in the United States and currently form the backbone of efforts to improve primary and secondary education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Although there has been much political controversy over the influence of standards on teacher autonomy and student performance, little light has been shed on how well standards cover science content. We assessed the coverage of genetics content in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) using a consensus list of American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) core concepts. We also compared the NGSS against state science standards. Our goals were to assess the potential of the new standards to support genetic literacy and to determine if they improve the coverage of genetics concepts relative to state standards. We found that expert reviewers cannot identify ASHG core concepts within the new standards with high reliability, suggesting that the scope of content addressed by the standards may be inconsistently interpreted. Given results that indicate that the disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) included in the NGSS documents produced by Achieve, Inc. clarify the content covered by the standards statements themselves, we recommend that the NGSS standards statements always be viewed alongside their supporting disciplinary core ideas. In addition, gaps exist in the coverage of essential genetics concepts, most worryingly concepts dealing with patterns of inheritance, both Mendelian and complex. Finally, state standards vary widely in their coverage of genetics concepts when compared with the NGSS. On average, however, the NGSS support genetic literacy better than extant state standards.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Map of the United States summarizing the difference in average coverage of ASHG core concepts between “NGSS+DCI” and each state’s standards (as determined in [8]).States shown in orange have a higher average state standards score for ASHG core concepts than “NGSS+DCI” (≤-0.3 difference). States shown in yellow have a comparable average state standards score for ASHG core concepts as “NGSS+DCI” (>-0.3 difference, but <0.3 difference). States shown in blue have a lower average state standards score for ASHG core concepts than “NGSS+DCI” (≥0.3 difference). Reprinted and modified from Wikimedia Commons under a CC BY license, with permission from Wikimedia Commons, original copyright 2007.
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pone.0132742.g002: Map of the United States summarizing the difference in average coverage of ASHG core concepts between “NGSS+DCI” and each state’s standards (as determined in [8]).States shown in orange have a higher average state standards score for ASHG core concepts than “NGSS+DCI” (≤-0.3 difference). States shown in yellow have a comparable average state standards score for ASHG core concepts as “NGSS+DCI” (>-0.3 difference, but <0.3 difference). States shown in blue have a lower average state standards score for ASHG core concepts than “NGSS+DCI” (≥0.3 difference). Reprinted and modified from Wikimedia Commons under a CC BY license, with permission from Wikimedia Commons, original copyright 2007.

Mentions: After calculating reliability, we conducted a complete analysis of the extent to which each concept was represented in the NGSS, looking at all concepts (including high-disagreement concepts) and using reviewers whose average scores were within one standard deviation of their group’s mean. Average scores were calculated for each ASHG core concept for “NGSS only” or “NGSS+DCI,” as well as across concept categories (Fig 1, binned according to categories from [8]). To compare the relationship between “NGSS only” average scores and “NGSS+DCI” average scores by concept, we calculated the correlation by Spearman’s rank sum. We used the Mann-Whitney rank sum test to determine if the average “NGSS only” versus “NGSS+DCI” scores for each concept were significantly different. We also compared average “NGSS only” or “NGSS+DCI” scores for each ASHG core concept to the average score for each concept across each state analyzed in the previous state standards analysis, as well as the average for each concept across all states (S2 and S3 Tables and Fig 1). We could not perform statistical comparisons between the NGSS and state standards data sets because of differences in study parameters. To avoid undue stringency, we set a minimum threshold of at least 0.3 in average score difference as our standard for meaningful differences in content coverage between the NGSS and state standards. Finally, the average “NGSS only” and “NGSS+DCI” scores across all concepts were similarly compared to each state’s average score across all concepts to gauge overall coverage of essential genetics content (Fig 2).


Assessing the Genetics Content in the Next Generation Science Standards.

Lontok KS, Zhang H, Dougherty MJ - PLoS ONE (2015)

Map of the United States summarizing the difference in average coverage of ASHG core concepts between “NGSS+DCI” and each state’s standards (as determined in [8]).States shown in orange have a higher average state standards score for ASHG core concepts than “NGSS+DCI” (≤-0.3 difference). States shown in yellow have a comparable average state standards score for ASHG core concepts as “NGSS+DCI” (>-0.3 difference, but <0.3 difference). States shown in blue have a lower average state standards score for ASHG core concepts than “NGSS+DCI” (≥0.3 difference). Reprinted and modified from Wikimedia Commons under a CC BY license, with permission from Wikimedia Commons, original copyright 2007.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4519196&req=5

pone.0132742.g002: Map of the United States summarizing the difference in average coverage of ASHG core concepts between “NGSS+DCI” and each state’s standards (as determined in [8]).States shown in orange have a higher average state standards score for ASHG core concepts than “NGSS+DCI” (≤-0.3 difference). States shown in yellow have a comparable average state standards score for ASHG core concepts as “NGSS+DCI” (>-0.3 difference, but <0.3 difference). States shown in blue have a lower average state standards score for ASHG core concepts than “NGSS+DCI” (≥0.3 difference). Reprinted and modified from Wikimedia Commons under a CC BY license, with permission from Wikimedia Commons, original copyright 2007.
Mentions: After calculating reliability, we conducted a complete analysis of the extent to which each concept was represented in the NGSS, looking at all concepts (including high-disagreement concepts) and using reviewers whose average scores were within one standard deviation of their group’s mean. Average scores were calculated for each ASHG core concept for “NGSS only” or “NGSS+DCI,” as well as across concept categories (Fig 1, binned according to categories from [8]). To compare the relationship between “NGSS only” average scores and “NGSS+DCI” average scores by concept, we calculated the correlation by Spearman’s rank sum. We used the Mann-Whitney rank sum test to determine if the average “NGSS only” versus “NGSS+DCI” scores for each concept were significantly different. We also compared average “NGSS only” or “NGSS+DCI” scores for each ASHG core concept to the average score for each concept across each state analyzed in the previous state standards analysis, as well as the average for each concept across all states (S2 and S3 Tables and Fig 1). We could not perform statistical comparisons between the NGSS and state standards data sets because of differences in study parameters. To avoid undue stringency, we set a minimum threshold of at least 0.3 in average score difference as our standard for meaningful differences in content coverage between the NGSS and state standards. Finally, the average “NGSS only” and “NGSS+DCI” scores across all concepts were similarly compared to each state’s average score across all concepts to gauge overall coverage of essential genetics content (Fig 2).

Bottom Line: We found that expert reviewers cannot identify ASHG core concepts within the new standards with high reliability, suggesting that the scope of content addressed by the standards may be inconsistently interpreted.Finally, state standards vary widely in their coverage of genetics concepts when compared with the NGSS.On average, however, the NGSS support genetic literacy better than extant state standards.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: American Society of Human Genetics, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Science standards have a long history in the United States and currently form the backbone of efforts to improve primary and secondary education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Although there has been much political controversy over the influence of standards on teacher autonomy and student performance, little light has been shed on how well standards cover science content. We assessed the coverage of genetics content in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) using a consensus list of American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) core concepts. We also compared the NGSS against state science standards. Our goals were to assess the potential of the new standards to support genetic literacy and to determine if they improve the coverage of genetics concepts relative to state standards. We found that expert reviewers cannot identify ASHG core concepts within the new standards with high reliability, suggesting that the scope of content addressed by the standards may be inconsistently interpreted. Given results that indicate that the disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) included in the NGSS documents produced by Achieve, Inc. clarify the content covered by the standards statements themselves, we recommend that the NGSS standards statements always be viewed alongside their supporting disciplinary core ideas. In addition, gaps exist in the coverage of essential genetics concepts, most worryingly concepts dealing with patterns of inheritance, both Mendelian and complex. Finally, state standards vary widely in their coverage of genetics concepts when compared with the NGSS. On average, however, the NGSS support genetic literacy better than extant state standards.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus