« NAGT Policy Discussion

Comment on Next Generation Science Standards  

This post was edited by Avery Swearer on Jul, 2016
This is where the community can discuss the Next Generation Science Standards. Public comment is due by June 1, 2012. NAGT will host a focus group and discussion thread to gather comment, hosted by Aida Awad and Susan Buhr. We are working to set up a focus group meeting for this week.

Watch this space for more on how to give your comment. In the meantime, here is how to get started:

To give individual input directly to NGSS, take the survey at: https://achieve.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9tYcVBMRgyCbcLq
View the draft standards at http://www.nextgenscience.org/next-generation-science-standards
To search by topic or performance expectation, scroll to the bottom of the page on the Next Gen SS website pasted above.
Write your comments here or send them to susan.buhr@colorado.edu or aawad@maine207.org .
See the pdf documents on the left hand side of the page for more context and explanation.

What’s new in the Next Generation Science Standards? For starters:
• Science content and practices are integrated throughout-not treated separately.
• Earth and Space Sciences have more prominence than in the past.
• Engineering and Applications of Science have more prominence.
• Climate change,energy use and human sustainability are included.
* A big presence for models and modeling.
• English language skills such as using evidence in argumentation and identifying and communicating credible information are included.

These standards will shape instruction, testing and curriculum design for the foreseeable future. What happens here will affect your children, your students, your children's teachers, your fellow citizens, your legislators and your future colleagues. The last time this happened was before 1996, so consider this opportunity the Venus transit of the education world, or at least consider it a significant and rare event.

It is critical for scientists and science educators to comment on this document. The organizers declare that "in no way should any statement within the draft be viewed as final". That means if you like something and want it to stay the way it is you should say so! If you don’t like something the way it is you should say so and provide an alternative. Participation is like voting-whatever happens you know you did your part.

Yours in science education,
Susan Buhr NAGT Vice President
Aida Award NAGT 2nd Vice President


Share edittextuser=261 post_id=20929 initial_post_id=0 thread_id=6066

I have reviewed the proposed standards from CDE.
Will CSAP or TCAP or whatever the test is called, questions be specific to the standards, or will they test 'Analyzing and Interpreting Data ,Using Mathematical and Computational Thinking , Disciplinary Core Ideas', etc.?


Share edittextuser=8990 post_id=20975 initial_post_id=0 thread_id=6066

We hope to hear from you over this week and on the focus group webinar. See how to join the webinar below. Webinar to be held May 24, Thursday 1:30 PT/ 2:30 MT/ 3:30 CT/ 4:30 ET .

Screen-sharing and Audio Instructions:
We will be using Blackboard Collaborate screensharing software and a SEPARATE audio line via Accuconference.

To access Blackboard Collaborate, visit:

When prompted, you can enter your name to join the session (the name you enter will be displayed in the conference room). Please allow 10 minutes to set up your Blackboard Collaborate session and please test that it works on your computer prior to our meeting on Thursday (email me at mbruckne@carleton.edu if you have technical questions or have trouble accessing Blackboard Collaborate).

To access the audio/conference call, dial:
1-800-704-9804 - toll-free (or 1-404-920-6604 - not toll free) and enter the access code: 758 74 894. Note that you can also Skype into the conference call, using the dial pad within Skype to enter the access code.


Share edittextuser=261 post_id=20979 initial_post_id=0 thread_id=6066

Hi all,

My biggest concern is that the performance expectations don't inspire the vision laid out by Taking Science to School. If they did, they would describe tasks that are investigation oriented, rather than validation oriented. While there’s place for validating important phenomena through well-structured experiments these types of activities should not dominate the standards. Investigation oriented performances apply knowledge to important questions, call for the generation of evidence to address research questions, use scientific models to explore, (rather than just describe) and analyze and argue in the context of student centered investigations where alternative solutions or conclusions may be reasonable.

Here are some simple notions I had to help the standards better realize the Vision of Taking Science to School (NRC):
1. In the stem of the performance expectations change the word “understand” to “proficiency” (Students who demonstrate proficiency can:…)
2. When the word ‘explain’ is used, such as “use evidence to explain” or “use models to explain” see if the word “investigate” can be used, (generate evidence to investigate… some content idea…, analyze or manipulate models in order to generate evidence about…)
3. Find places where the phrase “apply an understanding to…. Generate questions/discover patterns/analyze systems” can be inserted so that science content is put to use, not just ‘understood.’



Share edittextuser=3708 post_id=20982 initial_post_id=0 thread_id=6066

Hi Again,

Last week I conducted 3 review sessions of the standards and teachers in more than one group said essentiall, "Oh good, it looks like we are already teaching this high school earth science content in middle school, therefore we don't have to initiate a high school course." YIKES! Why would they think this way? Why aren't they recognizing the bump up from MS to HS?

I think there are a few reasons:
1. Some of the performance expectations are so sweeping and broad that one can interpret them at any level they want. The Earth Systems standard is especially vulnerable to this because of it's overarching nature. Another manifestation of that is that many of the PE's are to me quite academic bordering on esoteric.

2. It's also partly because the format which puts all three dimensions into a single sentence makes it difficult for writers to create statements that are understandable, non-contrived, and realistic.

Their task would be easier, and teachers better served if they weren't bound by the format. It's and not too late to suggest they borrow a nice presentable format such as the one Ontario uses. Theirs is not only readable but implies a very engaging, investigation centered curriculum, centered on real world issues.




Share edittextuser=3708 post_id=20988 initial_post_id=0 thread_id=6066

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