NAGT > Educational Advocacy > Next Generation Science Standards

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

The 2nd draft of the Next Generation Science Standards have now been released by Achieve, Inc. and the National Research Council accepted public comment on the Standards until January 29th, 2013. This document will guide science education in our schools and teacher preparation courses, and provides an opportunity to place geosciences on an equal footing with other scientific disciplines in our schools. NAGT sponsored two events (a webinar and a discussion forum) to inform community members about what is in the draft Standards and give them a chance to comment and provide feedback.

Jump Down To: Informational Webinar | Discussion Forum | Comment Thread

Informational Webinar

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - This event has already taken place
2:30 PM Central Time (3:30 PM Eastern, 1:30 PM Mountain, 12:30 PM Pacific)

Webinar Slides (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 22.3MB Jan24 13)

Dr. Michael Wysession, Associate Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at Washington University, St. Louis, and NGSS Writing Team Leader, led the webinar. Dr. Wysession gave a 30 minute presentation on the 2nd draft and how it differs from the 1st followed by a question and answer period.

Those who took part in the webinar were asked to read the Framework and the January 2013 draft Standards before the event. These documents can be found at:


NAGT Stakeholder Discussion Forum

Thursday, January 24, 2013 - This event has already taken place
12:30 PM Central Time (1:30 PM Eastern, 11:30 AM Mountain, 10:30 AM Pacific)

Forum Slides (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 194kB Jan24 13)

This forum allowed community members to provide comments and reviews to inform the NAGT Critical Stakeholder Review of the 2nd draft of the Standards. NAGT organizers synthesized the input provided through the forum and sent it to the NGSS team.

Those who wanted to provide feedback on the draft Standards, but were unable to attend the forum were asked to send written comments or use the comment thread below. The deadline for comments was Sunday, January 27, 2013.




Next Generation Science Standards - Comment Thread  

Comments on specific standards (I'm also submitting these directly at the NGSS site):

4-ESS1-a (p. 70 of DCI-arranged list) Interpreting rocks is too advanced for 4th grade - they need to be identifying rocks at this point, a skill which I can't fiind anywhere in the standards. Also, it specifies that "knowledge of the mechanism of rock formation is not required" but that would be necessary to do the interpretation that is being asked for.

MS-ESS2-i and MS-ESS3-h (p. 83 & 93 of DCI-arranged list) Students do need to know some symbols on weather maps to work with them. While we don't want to make science be just memorizing, knowing some things from memory is a part of intelligence and need not be avoided - one can't do science without knowing the meaning of some things such as map symbols.

MS-ESS2-b (p. 83 of DCI-arranged list) It's hard to analyze energy flow in the water cycle without reference to heats of vaporization and fusion/condensation, so a conceptual understandin gof these should be included. They are important for understanding climate change effects.

HS-ESS-2-a (p. 86 of DCI-arranged list) The assessment boundary says "details...not assessed", but it would be impossible to understand these processes without specific examples. The boundary limits exactly what would need to be included.

MS-ESS2-g (p. 83 of DCI-arranged list) Not sure where to add this omission, but there is not standard for identifying minerals and rocks, which is a fundamental Earth science skill that should be included. Note also that minerals are often referred to as fertilizer/nutrients or as resources, but not as the natural materials that make rocks and the Earth. This is a fundamental omission.

5-PS1-c (p. 3 of DCI-arranged list) Not sure where to add this omission, but it's a common omission of all chemistry studies: While carbon has many references in the standards, NOWHERE in the standards is a mention of the most common non-organic compounds: silicate minerals. Also, as is common in chemistry classes, there is no discussion of minerals as naturally-occurring compounds that make up the Earth. This needs to be added to basic physical science standards as part of the study of matter.

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