Next Generation Science Standards: Considerations for Curricula, Assessments, Preparation, and Implementation

From the authors: "Many states’ science standards are based on guidance documents created by the National Research Council in 1996 that do not reflect the scientific advances and educational research findings that have since occurred. Among options for policymakers to consider to update existing standards are the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a set of standards released in April 2013 that articulate expectations for student performance in science in grades K–12. Although states can adopt the NGSS outright without modifications, they may also use them to guide the creation of their own science standards. This brief provides an overview of the NGSS, discusses issues for policymakers to consider with regard to those standards, and presents examples from states considering or implementing the NGSS. Questions to consider and recommendations appear at the end of the document." 

Content Comments 

The authors of this policy brief clearly describe their purposes, provide useful content using unbiased methods, and share reasonable guidance to states and districts for developing and implementing science standards in schools. The authors effectively achieve their purposes. The different state examples cover a wide range of approaches, from states that were key developers and implementers of the Next Generation Science Standards to states that have passed laws limiting the implementation of new science standards. Communications quality is good. The brief is concise, thereby improving readability. The authors' recommendations are fair, reasonable, and useful. Although evidence of effectiveness is not provided, the overall high quality suggests a potential positive impact on learning.