The Next Generation Science Standards in the US

The goal of those who collaborated on the NGSS movement was to have these standards embraced by at least a majority of the states. To date, only 15 states have officially adopted the NGSS, according to Liana Heitin of EdWeek.org.

Perhaps states are hesitant to adopt a 'national' set of standards after experiencing how political the Common Core State Standards became, or maybe they simply like their own set better. The pattern that I have seen over the years though, is states will evaluate their current set of standards against the NGSS and then as their review cycle for their science curriculum comes due, they will update their standards by infusing the NGSS to create a more well-rounded, and possibly more robust, set.

States that have adopted the NGSS, will implement them as their official set usually within one to four years, allowing time for districts to adapt their curriculum and develop new assessments. For example, Oregon adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as the new Oregon 2014 Science Standards in March, 2014, but full implementation is not expected until 2018-2019 school year. Another example is South Dakota, who modified the climate section of the NGSS a bit, and then adopted them as their own state standards in May, planning on implementing them in the fall of 2017. On a more aggressive approach, California adopted in September 2013 and went right into full implementation fall of 2014.

It certainly will be interesting to watch these NGSS standards evolve not only as a national set, but how states incorporate them into their own standards. EdGate will be following this journey!

By: Larry Johnson
Project Manager