Second Public Draft of Next Generation Science Standards Now Available for Review

The second draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a new set of voluntary, rigorous, internationally benchmarked education standards, was released for public review today jointly by 26 states. 

The new draft can be found at, where users can also offer feedback.

Science—and therefore science education—is central to the lives of all Americans, preparing them to be informed citizens in a democracy and knowledgeable consumers.  It is also the case that if the nation is to compete and lead in the global economy and if American students are to be able to pursue expanding employment opportunities in science-related fields, all students must all have a solid K–12 science education that prepares them for college and careers.

States have previously used the National Science Education Standards from the National Research Council (NRC) and Benchmarks for Science Literacy from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to guide the development of their current state science standards. While these two documents have proven to be both durable and of high quality, they are around 15 years old.  Major advances have since taken place in the world of science and in our understanding of how students learn science effectively.

Twenty-six states have worked together 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 and meaningful careers. The NGSS were built upon on a vision for science education established by the Framework for K-12 Science Education, published by the National Academies’ National Research Council in 2011.

The second draft responded to tens of thousands of comments submitted to the 26 lead state partners and NGSS writing team following the first public review in May 2012. This draft also includes guidelines for how NGSS aligns to college and career readiness goals.

Feedback is strongly encouraged.  An easy-to-use online feedback form is available at The final standards will be released in March 2013.

In April 2011, chief state school officers and state board of education chairs from 26 states signed a voluntary agreement to help develop the standards alongside educators and scientists from other participating states.

The lead state partners are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.

The effort has been entirely state-driven, with no federal funds or incentives to create or adopt the standards. The process was funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York, a grantmaking foundation dedicated in part to improving the quality of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in the U.S. 

Lead states worked with National Research Council, the National Science Foundation, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the James B Hunt, Jr Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy, and the Council of State Science Supervisors to develop the standards and ensure they reflected the needs of educators, higher education institutions, and employers. 

Achieve, a non-partisan nonprofit education organization, coordinated the states’ efforts.