Wendy Jackson is a Curriculum Developer with SEPUP, and was a lead author on several of the Issues and Science units redesigned for the NGSS. Currently she is co-coordinating the redesign of Science and Global Issues, and is the lead developer on the Ecology and Evolution units.
Wendy came to SEPUP in 2015 from DePaul University where she served as Director of the DePaul-Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Science Partnership. This partnership provided support for K-12 science teachers, as well as school and district administrators, as they implemented the NGSS.
Previously she had been the Middle Grade Science Specialist for CPS, responsible for supporting the implementation of SEPUP, facilitating professional development on SEPUP curriculum, and developing a cadre of professional development leaders drawn from the ranks of outstanding middle grade science teachers. Wendy came to K-12 education through an alternative certification program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and was an NSF Noyce Scholar, before spending five years as a middle grade science teacher in CPS, where she used SEPUP in her own classroom.
Wendy received a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Washington, having conducted her dissertation research in Kenya, and was a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition to conducting ecological research, she directed several programs to build capacity for promoting environmental and conservation programs both abroad and in Chicago. Wendy also served as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Agency for International Development as the Environmental Policy Specialist for the Offices of the Science Advisor and Research.
In 2009, CPS began a concerted effort to strengthen the quality of science education at the middle grades level by ensuring that science teachers have the necessary credentials, access to high quality instructional materials, and sustained, coherent professional development on those materials. The district expanded its scope and sequence to include SEPUP at 6th grade in addition to 7th and 8th grade. A cadre of professional development leaders, drawn from among the most effect middle grade science teachers in the district, was created by the district and supported by Lab-Aids. One result of this concerted effort was a jump in state test scores for middle grade science by 5.6 points, the largest gain for any grade and subject.
In the first several years of implementation, state science test scores for Wendy's students increased by 41 points.