Next Generation Science Standards

On May 23, 2013 Rhode Island became the first state in the nation to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

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The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were released on April 9, 2013 thus completing a two-step process for development through the partnership of the National Research Council (NRC), the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve. The first step of the process was been led by The National Academies of Science, a non-governmental organization commissioned in 1863 to advise the nation on scientific and engineering issues. The National Research Council (NRC), the functional staffing arm of the National Academies of Science, developed the Framework for K-12 Science Education. The Framework is grounded in the most current research on science and science learning and has identified the science all K–12 students should know.

In step-two, managed by Achieve, Rhode Island and 26 other states led the development of the NGSS which are designed to actively engage students in scientific and engineering practices by applying crosscutting concepts to deepen their understanding of the core ideas in science.

The Rhode Island Department of Education is proud to have been selected as a Lead State Partner in the development of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These Next Generation Science Standards will be developed through collaboration between states and other stakeholders in science, science education, higher education, and industry. Working as a Lead State, RI will provide leadership and input to the writers of the NGSS as the standards move through the development process.

Additional review and guidance will be provided by advisory boards composed of nationally-recognized leaders in science, science education and business and industry. As part of the development process, the standards will undergo multiple reviews from many stakeholders including two public drafts, allowing all who have a stake in science education an opportunity to inform the proposed content and organization of the standards. This process will produce a set of rigorous, high quality K–12 Next Generation Science Standards ready for state adoption.

Lead State Resources

  • Framework for K-12 Science Education
  • NSTA Readers’ Guide for the Framework [PDF]
  • FAQs about the Framework
  • Report Brief
  • Standards Framework Homepage
  • A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas is a webinar released by the National Research Council in July 2011, which identifies the key scientific ideas and practices all students should learn by the end of high school. The framework will serve as the foundation for new K-12 science education standards, which are currently being developed by a group of 26 states coordinated by the nonprofit group Achieve. The framework is also designed to be used by curriculum and assessment developers, teacher educators, and others in K-12 science education.

    Viewing this archived webinar (originally airing on April 17th) would be an excellent preparatory step for educators and state team members in anticipation of review of the draft NGSS.


    Thomas Keller, co-director of the project to develop the framework, and senior program officer, Board on Science Education, National Research Council

    Heidi Schweingruber, co-director of the project to develop the framework, and deputy director, Board on Science Education, National Research Council

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