Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

History of Adoption of NGSS for California

Historical documents for the adoption of Next Generation Science Standards in California.

On September 4, 2013, the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for California Public Schools, Kindergarten through Grade Twelve as required by Education Code 60605.85. The NGSS Appendices A-M were also adopted to assist teachers in the implementation of the new science standards and to aid in the development of the new science curriculum framework.

On November 6, 2013, the SBE approved the Science Expert Panel’s (SEP) recommended Integrated Learning Progression model as the preferred model for middle grades six through eight. At the same November meeting, the SBE approved a recommendation by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) to reconvene the SEP in order “to develop … as an alternative model … a discipline specific model” for the grade span of six through eight based on Achieve’s domains model in Appendix K. Both of these models for the middle grades can also be found in the NGSS for California Public Schools, Kindergarten through Grade Twelve online version of the standards.

The SBE’s clear intent in their November action was for there to be one Integrated NGSS Model in California for grades six through eight that was preferred by the SSPI and the Board, and one Discipline Specific NGSS Model in California for grades six through eight, as an alternate.

In December 2013, the SEP reconvened to develop an alternative domain specific course model of the NGSS.

Through an online survey, the California Department of Education (CDE) requested input from California middle grades science teachers, administrators, and others in the public as to which of the three potential NGSS discipline specific model options proposed by the SEP they believed would be best for California as an alternative to the preferred NGSS Integrated Model for grades six through eight.

As required by EC Section 60605.85 (b), the SSPI submitted a schedule and implementation plan to the State Board of Education for integrating the adopted science content standards to the state educational system.

The first draft (PDF) of the State Implementation Plan for California Next Generation Science Standards for Public Schools, Grades Kindergarten through Grade Twelve was available for public review and comment from July 25 through August 25, 2014.

A document showing all public comments (PDF) received between July 25 through August 25, 2014, is available.

A document showing a summary of those public comments (PDF) that pertain directly to the NGSS Implementation Plan is available.

A final version (PDF) of the NGSS Implementation Plan, was approved by the SBE on November 13, 2014.

The CDE would like to thank all those who participated in the public comment period.

After a two-year development process, including two public comment periods, the proposed NGSS for California Public Schools were presented to the California SBE on July 10, 2013, for consideration of adoption. After presentations by Phil Lafontaine, Director of the Professional Learning Support Division at the CDE, members of the California Science Expert Panel (SEP), and public input, the SBE decided to defer action until the September 4, 2013, meeting. This decision was made to allow time for information to be shared with teachers and the public about the proposed standards and more time to gather responses from those groups.

Multiple organizations from around the state hosted information sessions regarding the arrangement and rationale of the proposed middle school learning progressions, specifically grades 6-8.

  • On August 22, 2013 Dean Gilbert, California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) past president and SEP member of the Orange County Department of Education hosted a town hall style meeting that included a Skype presentation with Dr. Helen Quinn, lead author of the Framework for K-12 Science Education.
  • On Wednesday, August 28, 2013 CSTA and the Sacramento County Office of Education held an informational discussion on the proposed middle school arrangement. In attendance was Rick Pomeroy of UC Davis School of Education (CSTA past president and SEP member), Glen Lusebrink (CSTA and SEP member) a teacher in the Woodland Joint Unified School District, Lisa Hegdahl, 8th grade science teacher at McCaffrey Middle School and CSTA president-elect, and Phil Romig, Science Curriculum Specialist for the Sacramento County Office of Education.

Public Meetings

California Education Code Section 60605.85 required the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) in consultation with the SBE, to convene a group of science experts. The Superintendent and the Science Expert Panel (SEP) shall recommend science content standards for adoption to the SBE and shall utilize the NGSS as the basis for their deliberations and recommendations to the SBE. The Superintendent is required to hold a minimum of two public meetings pursuant to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act in order for the public to provide input on the science content standards that would be recommended.

The SEP meetings took place on April 22, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and April 23, 2013, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. SEP meetings were held May 13-14, 2013, and June 3-4, 2013. The April 22-23, and June 3-4 meetings were held at WestEd, 1000 G Street, Suite 500, Sacramento, CA 95814-0892. The May 13-14 meeting was held at the Hilton Sacramento Arden West, 2200 Harvard Street, Sacramento, California, 95815-3306. All SEP meetings are open to the public.

The CDE and the California Comprehensive Center facilitated three regional public meetings for members of the public to submit feedback on the NGSS. The meeting on April 30, 2013 was broadcast by live webinar. The meeting dates, times, and locations are listed below and are also available to download in a flyer (DOC). The agenda for all three meetings is also available.

April 29, 2013, 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. ±

Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) External link opens in new window or tab.
10474 Mather Boulevard
Mather, CA 95655

Contact: Phil Romig, Curriculum Specialist, K-12 Curriculum and Intervention/Science , 916-228-2275
SCOE Meeting Agenda

April 30, 2013, 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. ±

Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE)
1290 Ridder Park Drive
San Jose, CA 95131-2304

Contact: Sandi Yellenberg, Coordinator, Science, 408-453-6692
SCCOE Meeting Agenda

May 2, 2013, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ±

Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) External link opens in new window or tab.
3939 Thirteenth Street
Riverside, CA 92501

Contact: Yamileth Shimojyo, Coordinator, Instructional Services, 951-600-5658
RCOE Meeting Agenda

California’s Next Generation Science Standards Science Expert Panel

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has convened a Science Expert Panel (SEP) to recommend new Science Content Standards for California Public Schools, Kindergarten through Grade Twelve based upon the nationally developed Next Generation Science Standards as required by Education Code (EC) Section 60605.85.

Convener

  • State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson

Liaisons from the SBE

  • Ilene Straus
  • Trish Williams

Members of the Science Expert Panel

  • Bruce Alberts, University of California, San Francisco
  • David Andrews, California State University, Fresno
  • Arthur  Beauchamp, University of California, Davis
  • Kirk Brown, San Joaquin County Office of Education
  • Ken Brown, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Nikki Chambers, Torrance Unified School District
  • Eric Eichinger, Boeing
  • John Galisky, Lompoc Unified School District
  • Ryan Gallagher, High Tech High
  • Dean C. Gilbert, Orange County Department of Education
  • Laura Henriques, California State University, Long Beach
    • President – Elect, California Science Teachers Association
  • Tatiana Lim-Breitbart, California College Preparatory Academy
  • Glen Lusebrink, Woodland Joint Unified School District
  • Bama Medley, Santa Maria-Bonita School District
  • J. Richard Pomeroy, University of California, Davis
    • President, California Science Teachers Association
  • Helen Quinn, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
  • Glenn Reagan, Folsom Cordova Unified School District
  • Jackie Rojas, California State University, Fullerton
  • Donna Ross, San Diego State University
  • David Seidel, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Robert Sherriff, San Juan Unified School District
  • Maria C. Simani, California Science Project
  • Art Sussman, WestEd
  • Ethan Sullivan, Granada Hills Charter High School
  • Nancy Taylor, San Diego Science Alliance
  • Jerry Valadez, Central Valley Science Project
  • Janet Yamaguchi, Discovery Science Center

WestEd Staff

  • Karen Cerwin
  • Kathy DiRanna
  • Jannelle Kubinec
  • Jo Topps

California Department of Education Staff

  • Phil Lafontaine
  • Karen Martin
  • Karen Shores
  • Stacey Shorey
  • Scott Spector

Historical Resources

California Alternative Discipline Specific Model for Grades Six through Eight (DOC)
This document outlines the three separate disciplines for grades six through eight (earth and space science, life science, and physical science).

Rationale for Integrated Middle School Course Models

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces State Approves Middle Grade Recommendations for Modern Science Standards
This is the News Release on the approval of the integrated learning progression as the preferred model for middle grades 6-8.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces State Adopts Next Generation Science Standards
This is the News Release on California’s adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards for grades kindergarten through grade 12.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces California Will Lead Effort in Writing New National Science Standards
This is the News Release on California's participation in the development of the Next Generation Science Standards.

Development Process External link opens in new window or tab.
Alternative Accessible Version of the Timeline for the Development of NGSS Standards
The Next Generation Science Standards will go through several rounds of review with multiple stakeholder groups. The general process and timeline for the development of the standards are available at this site.

NGSS Development Timeline (PDF)
Alternative Accessible Version of the NGSS Development Timeline
This is a timeline of the development and adoption process for new science standards in California.

Conceptual Framework for the Next Generation Science Standards

Conceptual Framework for the Next Generation K-12 Science Standards External link opens in new window or tab.
Released July 19, 2011, the framework provides a research-grounded basis for improving science teaching and learning across the country. It is intended to guide standards developers, curriculum designers, assessment developers, state and district science administrators, professionals responsible for science teacher education, and science educators working in informal settings.

Questions: STEM Office | stem@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-5847 
Last Reviewed: Thursday, March 23, 2017