Next Generation Science Standards

6/2014:  States which have officially adopted The Next Generation Science Standards

1/23/2014:  Illinois unanimously votes to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards HERE.

As with Common Core, Illinois is  “leading the way” for new educational standards:  this time in science.  The Next Generation Science standards are privately owned and trademarked by a long list of private and public organizations.  Elite panels of “experts” will control what your child learns and how the teacher should teach.  This a power grab which snuffs out the influence of local school boards and parents.

The Next Generation Science Standards (“NGSS”) were developed by twenty-six states, in collaboration with partners (see (the “Lead States and Partners”) in a process managed by Achieve, Inc. (“Achieve”). On behalf of the Lead States and Partners, Achieve requires that all third parties using and/or referring to the NGSS trademarks do so in a manner which will minimize confusion among the public and refrain from falsely implying a relationship with the NGSS Lead States and Partners or with Achieve. The NGSS trademarks include the words NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS and the associated logo (shown above).

These Guidelines explain acceptable and unacceptable uses of NGSS trademarks and are applicable to the use of the marks in any medium, including, print, multimedia, and online materials.


During the Next Generation Science Standards development process, 26 states will provide leadership to the writers and to other states as they consider adoption of the NGSS, and address common issues involved in adoption and implementation of the standards.

The lead state partners will:

  • Give serious consideration to adopting the resulting Next Generation Science Standards as presented.
  • Identify a state science lead who will attend meetings with writers to provide direction and work toward agreement on issues around the standards, adoption, and implementation.
  • Participate in Multi-State Action Committee meetings (Committee of the Chief State School Officers) to discuss issues regarding adoption and implementation of the new standards.
  • Publically announce the state is part of the effort to draft new science standards and make transparent the state’s process for outreach/receiving feedback during the process.
  • Form broad based committee that considers issues regarding adoption and provides input and reactions to drafts of the standards.
  • Publicly identify timeline for adopting science standards.
  • Utilize the collective experiences of the states to develop implementation and transition plans while the standards are being developed that can be used as models for all states.

State Superintendent of Education: Christopher A. Koch

Illinois Primary Points of Contact:

  • Pam Stanko — Science Assessment Consultant
  • Gil Downey — Mathematics and Science Partnership State Coordinator

Partner Organizations:   Illinois Pathways Initiative ­– P-20 STEM Programs of Study; STEM Center for Teaching and Learning; STEM Learning Exchange; Illinois Business Roundtable; Illinois Community College Board; Illinois Board of Higher Education; Illinois Project Lead the Way; International Technology and Engineering Educators Association.

Background:   In order to graduate from an Illinois public high school, a student must complete two years of science with no specific course requirements. The Illinois Learning Standards were adopted in 1997 and are not grade specific. They are instead organized by four levels: Early Elementary, Late Elementary, Middle/Junior High School, and Late High School. Since 1997, grade specific documents such as Performance Descriptors and Assessment Frameworks were developed in order to further describe and strengthen the Illinois Learning Standards. Students are assessed in science in grades 4 and 7 using the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) and in grade 11 using the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE). Illinois is a local control state; therefore districts have the ability to choose their own science curriculum as long as it follows the state standards.

Commitment:   Illinois has shown a strong commitment to standards based learning through its adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and its position as a governing state in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). Illinois is committed to being an active lead state partner in the NGSS efforts, and is anxious and excited to provide input to the writing team. Illinois feels as if it will be in a better position to adopt the standards if it has provided significant contribution in their development.

Alliances and Infrastructure:   Illinois has a strong infrastructure of organizations and networks that will be of assistance with the development and implementation of the NGSS. The Illinois Business Roundtable, Illinois Community College Board, Illinois Board of Higher Education, and many nonprofit associations work statewide on education issues, specifically STEM education. The Illinois Project Lead the Way and the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association could prove integral in providing feedback on the NGSS due to their communications with the state.

(Hat tip to Shane Vander Hart for the following summary of curriculum Analysis)

The Los Angeles Times published a story confirming that the Next Generation Science Standards which have just been released will “delve more deeply” into climate change.

For the first time, the proposed education standards identify climate change as a core concept for science classes with a focus on the relationship between that change and human activity. According to the Oakland-based National Center for Science Education, two-thirds of U.S. students in a 2011 survey said they are not learning much about the topic.

Among high school students, 86% take biology, and more than 50% take chemistry but fewer than 20% take earth sciences — the course that would cover climate change, said Frank Niepold, a climate education coordinator with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“The current state of climate change education is poor at best,” said Mark McCaffrey, the Oakland center’s program and policy director.

In California, climate and weather are covered in earth science standards. But the proposed new standards will more explicitly direct students to examine the scientific evidence for how and why the climate is changing and its impact.

The Heartland Institute (Chicago, Illinois) has produced two volumes – Climate Change Reconsidered, and Climate Change Reconsidered: 2011 Interim Report – containing more than 1,000 pages of peer-reviewed studies questioning the “consensus” that a man-made climate change crisis is a plausible scenario.

Joy Pullmann, research fellow and managing editor of School Reform News at The Heartland Institute, also expressed concern.  She said, “Although the final draft of the Common Core science standards is much improved over the previous two drafts, it is still objectionable for two main reasons. The first is that it pushes scientific activities on students while stripping much of the knowledge base essential for science and scientific literacy, which research has shown is a failed teaching method. Children need both core knowledge and practical experience in every subject.”

Pullmann continued, “The second failure is that the standards impose alarmist global warming ideas on children from kindergarten forward, and assume people are a net negative for the Earth while ignoring the truth that humans have both positive and negative effects on the environment. This manifests itself in standards attempting to tell children that overpopulation is a grave danger, a 1970s false alarm that has been thoroughly debunked.”

To see the Next Generation curriculum by grade go here:

One Response to Next Generation Science Standards

  1. Robert Lattimer says:

    I understand that a legislative review is needed before final adoption of NGSS by the state. I would urge Illinois citizens to contact state lawmakers and urge them not to approve the new standards. As reported on our website (, NGSS standards are mediocre and amount to indoctrination in materialism/atheism. NGSS therefore needs to be stopped. We have filed a suit in Kansas against the state’s adoption of NGSS (, and we are urging other states to wait until the case is resolved before considering adoption and implementation of NGSS.
    Robert Lattimer
    President, Citizens for Objective Public Education

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