The K-12 Alliance, a WestEd Science and Engineering project, is a professional learning organization whose mission is to transform teaching and learning in science and mathematics.
Grounded in a research-based theory of change, K-12 Alliance, a WestEd Science and Engineering project, is a professional learning organization equipped to assist school systems, institutes of higher education, businesses, state and federal departments of education, and other partners to improve science education.
The K-12 Alliance offers full program support for schools and school systems looking to implement OpenSciEd in a face-to-face, hybrid, or fully remote setting. Our unique professional learning model is customized to meet the needs of educators, schools, and school systems and has components that include science content training by a cadre team (university or other IHE scientist and NGSS OpenSciEd teacher leader), pedagogical (routines) modeling, and teacher leadership development with a focus on building a strong professional learning network for ongoing support.
The K-12 Alliance is the California partner for OpenSciEd and one of ten original states serving on the OpenSciEd State Steering Committee. In this capacity, K-12 Alliance provides operational and structural input to OpenSciEd and their development teams along with input and feedback on units and lessons. We organize and support the California field test through the training of field test teachers and ongoing support throughout implementation.
Since 1987, the K-12 Alliance has strategically worked with communities that have been historically underserved and underrepresented. Our work is grounded in the belief that all teachers and students have the capacity to engage in high-quality science teaching and learning; and that leveraging diverse experiences and expertise from students’ homes is essential to building a strong community of learners. Our involvement includes participation in early studies about the value of science instruction in increasing language development of multilingual learners. We understand that high quality instructional materials are a critical lever for equity. Our work has involved clear prioritization of social, environmental, and climate justice agendas, which address equitable design features of instructional materials, specifically antiracist, culturally relevant, and inclusive approaches to instruction. We prioritize relationships with partners and service on committees dedicated to this work, equity-centered framing in the design of instructional sequences for the educators we support, and the inclusion of equitable practices in tools designed to build and review instructional materials.
We focus our support on the school system as the agent of change through professional learning opportunities and technical assistance.
Our in-depth professional learning opportunities build on the understanding that all aspects of the school system are critical when presented with educational innovations. The supports we offer include building administrator and teacher leadership capacity, addressing policy implications, and comprehensive professional learning programs/experiences for teachers and administrators (customized programs, content and pedagogy instruction, the Teaching Learning Collaborative lesson study program, and classroom observations). These opportunities result in a shift in administrator support at the district and site level, teacher practice, and increases student opportunities to learn science.
The K-12 Alliance also offers technical assistance to school systems to develop a systemic approach to the implementation of the NGSS, that focus on targeted assistance for professional learning needs and identified needs during implementation. In addition, we work with local, state, and national partners to systematically advance science education and support teachers and administrators.
San Diego Unified School District
Greater than 50,000 Students
Kings Canyon Unified School District
Galt Joint Union Elementary School District
Where We Work
OpenSciEd Professional Learning
- Curriculum Launch
- Facilitator Training
- Ongoing Support/Unit Launch
- Unit Adaptation Support
OpenSciEd Grade Level Focus
- Middle School
Other Professional Learning
- Strategic District Implementation
- Supporting Science Coaches