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Next Generation Science Standards Update

May 2013 NGSS Presentation by Stephen Pruitt to the State Board of Education.

This is an Accessible Alternative Version or AAV of the Next Generation Science Standards Update presentation slides. The original presentation slides (PPT) is considered to be the official version.

Building on the Past; Preparing for the Future

Phase I:

1990’s – National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks for Science Literacy

1990’s to 2009 – Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8; America’s Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science; and Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits

January 2010 to July 2011 – A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas

Phase II:

July 2011 to April 2013 – Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States

January Feedback

  • Concerns that there was still too much material
  • Suggestions for a few additional topics to include
  • Increase language clarity
  • Concerns about including and addressing engineering and technology
  • Concern about the amount of support that will be needed for implementation of the standards

Response to Feedback

  • A review of the central focus of each disciplinary core idea (DCI) from the Framework resulted in the removal of about 33% of the performance expectations and associated DCIs, while retaining the progression of DCIs across the grade bands.
  • Engineering Design Standards.
  • “Storylines” with guiding questions were added to the beginning of each grade band and section to describe the context and rationale for the performance expectations.
  • The “All Standards, All Students” appendix was expanded to include several vignettes about implementation of the NGSS with diverse student groups.

What’s Different About the Next Generation Science Standards?

Bruce Alberts

“With regard to the Next Generation Science Standards, I am pleased the writers are resisting the urge to pack more content into the standards than teachers can possibly teach or students can learn in any school year…”

“A focus on these practices, rather than on content alone, leads to a deep, sustained learning of the skills needed to be a successful adult, regardless of career choice.”

Three Dimensions Intertwined: Practices, Core Ideas, & Cross-Cutting Concepts

  • The NGSS are written as Performance Expectations
  • NGSS will require contextual application of the three dimensions by students
  • Focus is on how and why as well as what

Jim Gates

“The Next Generation Science Standards are a huge step forward due to their unusual provenance. These standards have had the input from actual working scientists from their earliest phases of development. So the rigor and content of the NGSS are reflective of a scientific perspective.”

Weaving Practices with Content – Not Just the NGSS

  • K-12 Science Education Framework
  • New Advanced Placement Coursework and Assessment
  • PISA 2015
  • Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology
  • A New Biology for the 21st Century
  • Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians

How do we know this approach works?

Box 4-1 Intertwined Strands of Proficiency

  • Adaptive Reasoning
  • Strategic Competence
  • Conceptual Understanding
  • Productive Disposition
  • Procedural Fluency
  • Adding it Up: Helping Children Learn Mathematics
  • Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits – 6 strands – incorporates effective domain – motivation and engagement
  • Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8 – 4 strands

Goals of Laboratory Experiences based on ALR Findings

  • Mastery of subject matter
  • Developing scientific reasoning
  • Understanding the complexity and ambiguity of empirical work
  • Developing practical skills
  • Interest in science and science learning

Currently, research indicates significant numbers of students do not have quality opportunities to engage in science and engineering practices

Jonathan Osborne

“The Next Generation Science Standards represent the a quantum leap in our idea of what it means to teach science. By placing an emphasis on the teaching of practice and content, they offer a better conception of what matters in science and what is worth learning. This is an exciting vision which should be challenging, rigorous and engaging for students.”

“In addition, it is a much better match with the new OECD PISA framework for science assessment in 2015 which has focus on assessing student competency to explain science, design and evaluate scientific inquiry and analyses and interpret data.”

Supporting Materials

Appendices have been added to support the NGSS and in response to feedback

  • Appendix A – Conceptual Shifts
  • Appendix B – Responses to Public Feedback
  • Appendix C – College and Career Readiness
  • Appendix D – All Standards, All Students
  • Appendix E – Disciplinary Core Idea Progressions in the NGSS
  • Appendix F – Science and Engineering Practices in the NGSS
  • Appendix G – Crosscutting Concepts in the NGSS
  • Appendix H – Nature of Science
  • Appendix I – Engineering Design in the NGSS
  • Appendix J – Science, Technology, Society, and the Environment
  • Appendix K – Model Course Mapping in Middle and High School
  • Appendix L – Connections to Common Core State Standards in Mathematics
  • Appendix M – Connections to Common Core State Standards in ELA

Review and Support for NGSS

NRC Fidelity Review

  • The NGSS have passed a fidelity review by the NRC.
  • The NRC reviewers looked at the consistency of the standards with the vision and content of the Framework.
  • The review panel was made up of some members from the actual Framework committee and other experts who were familiar with the Framework and NGSS.
  • The National Academies Press will publish the NGSS in print form. This represents the first time in its history that the NAP is publishing a report that was not developed by a committee or board of the National Academies.

California Headquartered Business Support

  • Autodesk, Inc.
  • Baybio Association
  • Baybio Institute
  • Broadcom
  • Causecast
  • Chevron
  • Cisco Systems
  • Intel
  • Optum RX
  • Parsons
  • Pasco
  • Sally Ride Science
  • SSL
  • Steller Solutions INC.
  • Symantec

Businesses with Significant California Presence

  • Bayer
  • Corning
  • DuPont
  • Eaton
  • Eli Lilly
  • EMC
  • Hitachi
  • IBM
  • McKinstry
  • Merck
  • Microsoft
  • Raytheon
  • Dell, Prudential, Travelers, State Farm and others have significant offices in California

Next Steps

Future Support for NGSS

  • Form NGSS Network to support state adoption and implementation
  • Provide tools and guidance to states and the field to build capacity to deliver NGSS in the classroom


Thank You!

Contact Information

Stephen Pruitt, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Achieve
Next Generation Science Standards Web site [] External link opens in new window or tab.

Questions: Standards Implementation Support Office | | 916-323-5847 
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, December 18, 2019