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RI State Science Standards

Rhode Island public schools are currently in transition from the current state science standards, the RI Grade Span Expectations (GSEs), to the new standards, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which were adopted in 2013.

RI Science, Engineering and Technology Grade Span Expectations

RI Grade Span Expectations (GSEs) in Science, Engineering and Technology, which were released in 2006, were developed by Rhode Island educators.  The science GSEs describe the knowledge, skills and applications all students should demonstrate at the end of each grade span. RI Science GSEs are written for grade spans K-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, and high school, and are organized into broad domains that are further subdivided into Statements of Enduring Knowledge that capture major concepts. The science GSEs have informed curriculum, instruction and assessment in K-12 public schools in Rhode island since their adoption in 2006.  The current state science assessment, the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) in Science, which is administered at grades 4, 8, and 11, is currently aligned to the science GSEs and will be in place through Spring 2017.

Science GSEs

Engineering and Technology GSEs

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

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 a Lead State Partner in the development of NGSS. Working as a Lead State, Rhode Island, which was the first state to adopt the NGSS in the spring of 2013, provided leadership and input to the writers of the NGSS as the standards moved through the development process. For more information and resources on the NGSS, go to the NGSS Resources page.

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