Last summer Central Cass STEM Coordinator and Science Teacher, Sara Forness worked for the PRAXIS Testing company, ETS along with 3 science education professors from around the United States to look at the new NGSS Science Standards. Their assignment was to create a document that covers the content all general high school science teachers should know prior to teaching in a classroom.
Last week they presented the revision to a panel of 6 science education professors and 6 high school teachers at the University of Princeton. They reworded the document to develop the test questions which will be used for the PRAXIS General Science Knowledge test most states use to license future middle and high school science teachers. Each state gets to pick their own “cut” score for a potential teacher, but ETS also gives what it feels is a recommended pass score for this particular test. Forness states, "It was both interesting and challenging trying to get all to agree on not only what is important to test, but how much weight the test will place on the big concepts we need to teach kids." After three days of 'brain drain,' Forness was able to spend Saturday touring the Princeton Campus and was able to stop by Einstein’s home, a place he requested not be memorialized and is now owned by a private family. He rode his bike to Princeton, a few blocks away, each day to play “physics” with the professors there during his final 22 years of life. "I hope I can still “science” when I am 76 years old!" states Forness.