State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced the second draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is now available for public review and comment until January 29, 2013.
NGSS is a new set of voluntary, rigorous, internationally benchmarked science standards. The new draft can be found at Next Generation Science Standards, where viewers may leave public comments.
“California is an economic powerhouse whose engine runs in part on our leadership in science and technology,” said Torlakson. “These standards will help shape the quality of science education for our students as they stand poised to continue the state’s leadership in these fields.”
California is among 25 other states working together to develop the standards, which will identify science and engineering practices and content that all kindergarten through grade twelve students should master in order to be fully prepared for college and career. The NGSS were built upon on a vision for science education established by the Framework for K-12 Science Education, published by the National Academies’ National Research Council in 2011.
The second draft responds to tens of thousands of comments submitted to the 26 lead state partners, and the NGSS writing team following the first public review last May. This draft also includes guidelines for how NGSS aligns to college and career readiness goals.
In July 2011, Torlakson and State Board of Education President Michael Kirst signed a voluntary agreement to help develop the standards alongside educators and scientists from other participating states.
“These new science standards are significantly different from the current California science standards,” said Kirst. “So they will require changes in our approach to teaching and assessment.”
The lead state partners are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.
The effort has been entirely state-driven, with no federal funds or incentives to create or adopt the standards. The process was funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, a leading philanthropy dedicated in part to improving science education in the US.
Lead states worked with National Research Council, the National Science Foundation, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the James B Hunt, Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy, and the Council of State Science Supervisors to develop the standards and ensure they reflected the needs of educators, higher education institutions, and employers.
The final standards will be released in March 2013.
The nonpartisan, nonprofit education organization, Achieve, coordinated the states’ efforts. For more information on California’s role in this process, visit the Next General Science Standards – Science Web page.