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. The SBE also authorized the SEP to develop an alternate discipline specific model based on Achieve’s domains model in Appendix K.
At the same November SBE 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. The model was to be based upon the guidance for developing a domain specific model as outlined by Achieve in the NGSS Appendix K.
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 2014, 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.
The survey is now closed. The CDE would like to thank all those who participated. The SSPI will review all of the submissions and make a decision about which model will be endorsed by the CDE. The SBE will be notified at its May 2014 meeting.
Per Assembly Bill 484 (2013) , California students will be assessed during the 2013-14 school year in grades five (for fourth and fifth grade science content), eight (sixth through eighth grade science content), and ten (life science content). These assessments will be based on the 1998 California Science Standards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to frequently asked questions about the NGSS.
NGSS for California Public Schools, Kindergarten through Grade Twelve (or K-12)
The California Next Generation Science Standards can be viewed by grade level Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI): Life Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences, and Physical Sciences or by grade level Topic (example: Chemical Reactions, Structure and Function, or Space Systems).
Electronic Mailing List
Developing a New Science Framework to Align with NGSS
SB 300 (Chapter 480, Statutes of 2013) calls for the revision of the Science Framework to align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This important document will provide guidance for implementing the NGSS standards. Visit the Curriculum Frameworks-Science page to learn more about how to be involved in the development process.
Next Generation Science Standards Resources
Next Generation Science Standards
This is the official Web site for information on the national Next Generation Science Standards. Forty-one members of a core writing team worked with 26 Lead State Partners in the development of the new science standards. The draft standards were available for public comment in May 2012 and January 2013.
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
The National Science Teachers Association offers numerous resources to assist educators in the understanding of the Conceptual Framework and Next Generation Science Standards.
Conceptual Framework for the Next Generation K-12 Science Standards
Released July 19, 2011, this national 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.
Opportunity Equation: Transforming Mathematics and Science Education for Citizenship and the Global Economy
The set of recommendations for standards drawn from this June 2009 report by the Carnegie Corporation of New York - Institute for Advanced Study Commission on Mathematics and Science Education served as the underpinning for the Conceptual Framework for the Next Generation K-12 Science Standards.
Webinars and Presentations
NSTA, Next Generation Science Standards Web Seminar Series
NSTA offers free web seminars to help science educators increase their understanding of the standards and implement NGSS in the classroom. There is information about additional NSTA resources available.
NGSS 101 (PDF)
On October 16, 2013, Phil Lafontaine, Director of the Professional Learning Support Division of the CDE, and Kathy DiRanna, WestEd's K-12 Alliance Statewide Director, conducted a webinar of an overview of the development of the NGSS and middle grades pathway for grades 6-8.
Next Generation Science Standards Presentation to the SBE
On May 9, 2012, Stephen Pruitt, Vice President, Content, Research, and Development, at Achieve, Inc., presented at the California SBE meeting to discuss the development and content of the NGSS. You may view the archived presentation of the SBE Meeting May 9, 2012 (WMV; 07:40:01); Item 2 begins at the 22:15 mark.
Next Generation Science Standards (PPT)
Accessible Alternative Version of the NGSS Presentation
At the Wednesday, May 8, 2013 SBE meeting, Stephen Pruitt, Senior Vice President from Achieve, Inc., shared an overview of the development of the NGSS. The NGSS update was Item 10 on the agenda, and can be viewed. Item 10 begins at the 2:24:40 mark.
History of Adoption of NGSS for California
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.
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 St, 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)
10474 Mather Boulevard
Mather, CA 95655
Curriculum Specialist, K-12 Curriculum and Intervention / Science
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
Sandi Yellenberg, Coordinator, Science
SCCOE Meeting Agenda
May 2, 2013, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ±
Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE)
3939 Thirteenth Street
Riverside, CA 92501
Yamileth Shimojyo, Coordinator, Instructional Services
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.
- 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
- Karen Cerwin
- Kathy DiRanna
- Jannelle Kubinec
- Jo Topps
California Department of Education Staff
- Phil Lafontaine
- Karen Martin
- Karen Shores
- Stacey Shorey
- Scott Spector
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.
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.