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4/18/2013 5:50:00 AM
Final Next Generation Science Standards Released
On Tuesday, April 9, the final Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a new set of voluntary, rigorous, and internationally benchmarked standards for K-12 science education, were released. The Achieve NGSS website includes the NGSS organized in two different arrangements as well as supporting documents and resources in the appendices.

Twenty six states, including Oregon, and their broad-based teams worked together for two years with a 41-member writing team, Achieve, and partners to develop the standards which identify science and engineering practices and content that all K-12 students should master in order to be fully prepared for college, careers and citizenship. The NGSS were built upon a vision for science education established by the Framework for K-12 Science Education, published by the National Academies' National Research Council (NRC) in 2011.

The creation of the NGSS was entirely state-driven, with no federal funds or incentives to create or adopt the standards. The NGSS are grounded in a sound, evidence-based foundation of current scientific research—including research on the ways students learn science effectively— and identify the science all K-12 students should know.

Oregon’s 2009 Science Standards are in good alignment with the NRC Framework. It is based on the same research and the same big ideas, and it includes engineering design and scientific inquiry as the science practices, as do Oregon’s 2009 Science Standards. Districts should “stay the course” and continue the good efforts already in place regarding implementation of Oregon’s 2009 Science Standards.

During the coming months, the Oregon State Board of Education will determine whether or not to adopt the NGSS. Oregon Department of Education staff, in collaboration with the Oregon NGSS Lead State Team and science content and assessment advisory groups, will review the final NGSS and provide analysis as well as develop a potential timeline for adoption, transition, and implementation.

Should the State Board adopt the Next Generation National Science Standards, it is important to remember that adoption does not mean instant implementation. It will take a number of years before these standards are implemented and assessed in Oregon schools. If they are adopted, through a thoughtful transition and implementation process, the standards will be phased in so that districts can implement changes in local curriculum, provide appropriate professional development for teachers, and provide students with opportunities to learn the content, practices, and cross-cutting concepts prior to assessment.

Background information on the development of these standards as well as links to resources are available on the ODE NGSS web page. For more information, to share comments, or ask questions, please contact: Cheryl Kleckner eMail.
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