Next Generation Science Standards

Standards, standards everywhere!

Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:54 PM

Hey all, I went to the Iowa Science Teachers Conference yesterday. I found the opportunity both educational and renewing. Still, I left a little confused and hope you all can shed some light on the topic for me.

So far, I have heard about three different types of standards:

-The Iowa Core Curriculum (obviously this only applies to those in Iowa)

-The Next Generation Science Standards

-The Common Core Science Standards

I am confused about who has developed the last two groups of standards and how they are different. Which standards are we expected to use? When will these groups of standards be implemented? What resources will we have to support implementing these standards?

I feel like, in the short time I have been a teacher, I am continually hearing about what is coming down the pipe. I would love to know what this actually means for me and my instruction. Please include any copies of these standards that you might have. I would really like to compare the ideas to begin understanding what is going on.


Katie Borton

Kathryn Borton
Kathryn Borton
350 Activity Points

Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:19 PM

You are not alone in your confusion! There have been a number of discussions in the forums about what goes where. I will post a couple links with some basic information but if you do a search in the box to the top and left (under the name of this forum) for Common Core or NGSS it will pull up additional information and discussions.

the CCSS and NGSS forum looked at a few links between Common Core and NGSS

The Where Can I Find Out More About NGS standards? forum is a little further down the list from your forum also has links to more information specifically on NGSS - they have actually not been published yet and and have one more public review before the final version will be released.

The Elementary Science > How Is the Common Core Affecting Science Instruction in Elementary Classrooms? forum seems to have links to additional information on Common Core standards - to the best of my knowledge, the science specific standards have not been released but there are ELA standards that are to be included in science now (probably math ones too but I never see anyone discuss those).

Anyone have any more up-to-date information to add?

Tina Harris
Tina Harris
65560 Activity Points

Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:09 PM

I agree, I have been teaching for 3 years and i am constantly hearing about the new standards and the changes that will accompany the standards. I reviewed the new standards with a team of teachers and digested each standard for physical science and life science for middle school students, and i can truly say i think some of the standards are ridiculous. The wording is the biggest issue for me. I understand how to read them and digest each standard and believe its important for everyone to review the standards and leave comments. If your state is already planning on adopting the standards start reviewing them because your curriculum may change. Try and align your curriculum to the standards to advocate for your current curriculum unless you beive it needs changes.

John Pappas
John Pappas
795 Activity Points

Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:57 PM

Which way is Oz? Oh we all wonder. Obviously the average classroom begins to feel a bit over managed by teachers trying to implement every imaginable set of standards simulatneously. I appreciate the sign posts and guidlines the standards provide, but personally it seems important to adjust everything to the needs of my real live students (not Pinocchio), and this all even differs from day to day. What their learning styles are and how they interact are very important and relative to the individual students in even different classes. I wonder if after arranging and writing to include all that the standards have set forth, after all that planning time, if we can just find a moment to really reach them? Finally, we are supposed to be flexible, but how can we veer from the long and intricate path of standards when we have one hour.

Michele Bloomquist
Michele Bloomquist
2395 Activity Points

Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:43 PM

My ole' school district is now completely transformed to standards-based teaching, learning and report carding. I have been subbing in my former school, and each time I have had the opportunity to be in one of the present teachers' classrooms while a teacher is there, each teacher is explaining how the students' report cards will look different - no A,B,C, etc. grades. Just numbers - 1,2, or 3 for mastery of specific targets. The teachers are also explaining that the report cards will be a lot longer - because of all of the targets listed. It will be very interesting to see how all of the hard work and money it took to change over will be reflected in the state's student learning markers -those state assessments that are given once a year. The state will "grade" the district - with an A, B, or C, of course.
I think the whole process makes complete sense in terms of emphasizing the most important elements to be emphasized in a content area through the use of learner targets and state/national standards, and I hope that the elimination of letter grades will promote a culture of intrinsic motivation for our students. Only time will tell...or is this another new name and resurrection of an old educational philosophy? Anyone remember the report cards of the 1970s and the individualized learning modules?

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
79588 Activity Points

Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:31 PM

We have 8th grade Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System for Science and Technology in mid-May. It assesses the students knowledge of general science, Physical, Life, Earth and Space and Technology, including 6-8 grades. As an 8th grade teacher, I feel the weight of making sure I get through all the curriculum for 8th grade and also get through reviewing topics that they learned in 6th and 7th grade. We do spiral the curriculum, however, there are topics in 6th and 7th grades that I do not cover in 8th. I tend to worry about it being all up to me to make sure they remember it all. We have to meet AYP (Annual Yearly Progress)in order for the district to be successful. Now with NGSS, CC, STEM, Science Literacy and Technology Goals, SMART goals all added to MCAS standards, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed about how to make it all work together. I know that it will take a little time to get it all together, I wish I could see how it all fits together or someone could guide me a little, but I am not sure anyone knows.

Sandra Desieno
Sandra Desieno
21605 Activity Points

Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:33 PM

There are a lot of misunderstandings out there about the relationship of Common Core, NGSS, and State Standards and understandably so! Here in Idaho, here is how it is working, which will likely be similar to many states. We used to have our state standard (in all subject areas, ELA, mathematics, science, social studies, etc.). These were created here by committees and most are loosely based on the work of national organizations, like NSTA, who created national standards back in the 90s. The Idaho Standards have received poor grades from groups that review standards. Check out your state here:

Recently, Idaho adopted the CCSS ELA and mathematics to replace our Idaho State Standards in ELA and mathematics. We will continue to use the Idaho State Standards in all other subject areas. Our Idaho State Achievement Tests (ISAT)in ELA and mathematics will be replaced next year by the assessments created by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) that will assess the CCSS ELA and mathematics. That's how I know they are serious :)

The initiative is sponsored by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

So, how does science education and standards fit into all this? First, the connection between science content and the CCSS, ELA in particular. One of the major shifts in the CCSS ELA is the increase in reading for information--non-fiction, expository writing and speaking/listening. In grades K-5 the CCSS don't specify that this must be done in science class, but it is not a far need to learn how to read non-fiction, write about science and speak/listen about science. Of course, social studies will be a large part of their literacy instruction as well. In grades 6-12, there are specific standards for "Literacy in Science, Social Studies, and Technical Subjects". I've said it before and I'll say it again...these are not science CONTENT standards, rather, reading and writing in science. Science teachers are expected to teach literacy skills in the CCSS ELA.

The connections of Science teaching and CCSS Mathematics are less defined. No explicit connections are made, but many teachers are aligning their science projects/problems to utilizing the CCSS math standards.

There are 26 lead states working on the NGSS right now. Idaho is not one of them. We're a "wait and see" state. Our regular rotation of review for our state science standards does not come until 2016 and that is likely the earliest we will "adopt" the NGSS to replace our Idaho State Science Standards, or the science content (as opposed to literacy in science.)

Wendy Ruchti
Wendy Ruchti
23010 Activity Points

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