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).

NGSS-L Electronic Mailing List

Receive updates on NGSS in Rhode Island by joining the NGSS electronic mailing list. To subscribe send a blank e-mail to

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

Call for Participation - Next Generation Science Standards Liaisons

As you know, a major goal of RIDE's Next Generation Science Standards Implementation Plan is to foster awareness and understanding of the new state science standards to all educators and stakeholders within our state. To help support this goal RIDE and the Rhode Island Strategic Leadership Team for the NGSS (RISLT) are asking your help in building a cadre of volunteer educators to strengthen NGSS communication to all faculty and administration in our schools.

The NGSS Liaisons will serve as a conduit between the RISLT and their colleagues in their schools. This networking of communication is a two-way process. NGSS-specific information, tools, and resources will be shared with NGSS Liaisons through the RISLT and questions and concerns at the school level can then be communicated directly to the RISLT through the NGSS Liaisons. The objective of the NGSS Liaisons is to ensure that all educators and administrators in our schools have access to information as well as a process to pose questions and share ideas about NGSS.

NGSS Liaisons will be provided access to training in the standards and tools to support the NGSS. The Liaisons will also be invited to take part in the quarterly RISLT meetings however this is not mandatory. All meetings and trainings will be conducted after school hours.

Qualifications and Expectations

NGSS Liaisons are educators who exemplify the following:
  • Seen as teacher leaders by their colleagues
  • Are full time educators who teach science at the PK-12 level. Administrators are also welcome!
  • Have a working understanding of the National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education and the NGSS
  • Are effective communicators of information


NGSS Liaisons will
  • receive information electronically (listserv, dropbox) from the RISLT.
  • share information sent from the RISLT with their colleagues at the school level. The NGSS Liaison may distribute this information to their colleagues in a variety of ways such as using email systems already in place within the schools, posting information on faculty bulletin boards, or sharing at faculty meetings.
  • facilitate communication by school faculty and administration to the RISLT.


  • Selection of school-based NGSS Liaisons would be a decision made by administration at the district /school level.
  • District leadership and school principals have awareness of educators who possess the necessary qualifications.
  • Educators are free to volunteer however the decision for selection resides with the building/district administration
  • Emphasis should be placed on the aspect that this is a voluntary position but there is a level of commitment to ensure that the process builds capacity.


  • September 12, 2014 – School level NGSS-Liaisons identified and sent to RIDE.
  • Late September, 2014 – Orientation for NGSS Liaisons via webinar (date to be determined)

Click here to download a NGSS Liaisons form [DOCX]

Thank for your assistance. If you have any questions please contact Peter McLaren, Science and Technology Specialist by email or phone at 222-8454.

Site Documents

Documents on this site require the use of the following programs:

DOC - Microsoft Word

PDF - Acrobat Reader

PPT - Microsoft PowerPoint

XLS - Microsoft Excel