Between November-December 2018, over 100 Washington school districts graciously shared information about the general nature of their science/STEM strategic planning and implementation (Phase 1). We observed several key patterns that influenced the design of Phase 2 of our landscape analysis. Many school districts:
- used NGSS-oriented tools to update their Science/STEM plans in the past few years.
- employ new science leaders, who have novice-level experience with district planning.
- have “partial” plans (e.g. some grade bands, certain parts of the district system, incomplete plans, limited people involved)
Districts also reported significant variation about how their plans are or aren’t useful to support their actual operations.
For Phase 2 of the landscape analysis–which is designed as a district self-assessment–we have curated a comprehensive set of research-based district-level indicators of healthy, equitable science/STEM learning systems. The self-assessment will 1) provide district leaders with a contemporary framework to drive impact in science/STEM education 2) lay the foundation for district strategic planning efforts and collaborations within and across LASER Alliance regions, and 3) illuminate successes and gaps that drive leadership capacity development within and beyond LASER.