NGSS Hub - Front Matter

There is no doubt that science—and, therefore, science education—is central to the lives of all Americans. Never before has our world been so complex and science knowledge so critical to making sense of it all. When comprehending current events, choosing and using technology, or making informed decisions about one’s health care, science understanding is key. Science is also at the heart of the this country’s ability to continue to innovate, lead, and create the jobs of the future. All students—whether they become technicians in a hospital, workers in a high-tech manufacturing facility, or PhD researchers—must have a solid K–12 science education.

Advances in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Every NGSS standard has three dimensions: disciplinary core ideas (DCI) (content), scientific and engineering practices (SEPs), and cross-cutting concepts (CCs). Currently, most state and district standards express these dimensions as separate entities, leading to their separation in both instruction and assessment. The integration of rigorous content and application reflects how science and engineering is practiced in the real world.

SEPs and CCs are designed to be taught in context—not in a vacuum. The NGSS encourage integration with multiple core concepts throughout each year.

Science concepts build coherently across K-12. The emphasis of the NGSS is a focused and coherent progression of knowledge from grade band to grade band, allowing for a dynamic process of building knowledge throughout a student’s entire K-12 scientific education.

The NGSS focus on a smaller set of DCIs that students should know by the time they graduate from high school, focusing on deeper understanding and application of content.

Science and engineering are integrated into science education by raising engineering design to the same level as scientific inquiry in science classroom instruction at all levels and by emphasizing the core ideas of engineering design and technology applications.

The NGSS content is focused on preparing students for college and careers. The NGSS are aligned by grade level and cognitive demand with the English Language Arts and Mathematics Common Core State Standards. This allows an opportunity both for science to be a part of a child’s comprehensive education and for an aligned sequence of learning in all content areas. The three sets of standards overlap and are reinforcing in meaningful and substantive ways.

NGSS Design Considerations

Through a collaborative, state-led process, new K–12 science standards have been developed that are rich in content and practice and arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education. The NGSS are based on A Framework for K–12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas developed by the National Research Council (NRC).

In putting the vision of the Framework into practice, the NGSS have been written as performance expectations (PEs) that depict what the student must do to show proficiency in science. SEPs were coupled with various components of the DCIs and CCs to make up the PEs. The NGSS architecture was designed to provide information to teachers and curriculum and assessment developers beyond the traditional one-line standard. The PEs are the policy equivalent of what most states have used as their standards. In order to show alignment and coherence to the Framework, the NGSS include the appropriate learning goals in "foundation boxes" in the order in which they appeared in the Framework. They were included to ensure curriculum and assessment developers should not be required to guess the intent of the PEs.

Coupling Practice With Content

State standards have traditionally represented practices and core ideas as two separate entities. Observations from science education researchers have indicated that these two dimensions are, at best, taught separately or that the practices are not taught at all. This is neither useful nor practical, especially given that in the real world science and engineering are always a combination of content and practice.

It is important to note that the SEPs are not teaching strategies—they are indicators of achievement as well as important learning goals in their own right. As such, the Framework and NGSS ensure the practices are not treated as afterthoughts. Coupling practice with content gives the learning context, whereas practices alone are activities and content alone is memorization. It is through integration that science begins to make sense and allows student to apply the material. This integration will also allow students from different states and districts to be compared in a meaningful way.

The NGSS Are Standards, Not Curriculum

The NGSS are standards, or goals, that reflect what a student should know and be able to do; they do not dictate the manner or methods by which the standards are taught. The PEs are written in a way that expresses the concept and skills to be performed but still leaves curricular and instructional decisions to states, districts, schools, and teachers. The PEs do not dictate curriculum; rather, they are coherently developed to allow flexibility in the instruction of the standards. While the NGSS have a fuller architecture than traditional standards—at the request of states so they do not need to begin implementation by "unpacking" the standards—the NGSS do not dictate nor limit curriculum and instructional choices.

Instructional Flexibility

Students should be evaluated based on understanding a full DCI. Multiple SEPs are represented across the PEs for a given DCI. Curriculum and assessment must be developed in a way that builds students’ knowledge and ability toward the PEs. As the NGSS are performances meant to be accomplished at the conclusion of instruction, quality instruction will have students engage in several practices throughout instruction.

Because of the coherence of the NGSS, teachers have the flexibility to arrange the PEs in any order within a grade level to suit the needs of states or local districts. The use of various applications of science, such as medicine, forensics, agriculture, or engineering, would nicely facilitate student interest and demonstrate how scientific principles outlined in the Framework and NGSS are applied in real world situations.


In 2010, the National Academy of Sciences, Achieve, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Science Teachers Association embarked on a two-step process to develop the NGSS. The first step of the process was led by the National Academy of Sciences, a non-governmental organization commissioned in 1863 to advise the nation on scientific and engineering issues. In July 2011, the NRC, the functional advisory arm of the National Academy of Sciences, released the Framework report. The Framework was a critical first step because it is grounded in the most current research on science and scientific learning, and it identifies the science all K–12 students should know.

The second step in the process was the development of standards grounded in the NRC Framework. A group of 26 lead states and 41 writers, in a process managed by Achieve Inc., worked to develop the NGSS. The standards were subjected to numerous state reviews as well as two public comment periods and benefited from additional feedback from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and many critical stakeholders at the local and national level. In April 2013, the NGSS were released for states to consider adoption.

Why Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)?

The world has changed dramatically in the 15 years since state science education standards’ guiding documents were developed. Since that time, many advances have occurred in the fields of science and science education, as well as in the innovation-driven economy. The United States has a leaky K–12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) talent pipeline, with too few students entering STEM majors and careers at every level—from those with relevant postsecondary certificates to PhDs. We need new science standards that stimulate and build interest in STEM.

The current education system cannot successfully prepare students for college, careers, and citizenship unless the right expectations and goals are set. While standards alone are no silver bullet, they do provide the necessary foundation for local decisions about curriculum, assessments, and instruction.

Implementing the NGSS will better prepare high school graduates for the rigors of college and careers. In turn, employers will not only be able to hire workers with strong science-based skills in specific content areas, but also with skills such as critical thinking and inquiry-based problem solving.

Framework for K-12 Science Education Dimensions

The Framework outlines the three dimensions that are needed to provide students with a high-quality science education. The integration of these three dimensions provides students with a context for the content of science, how science knowledge is acquired and understood, and how the sciences are connected through concepts that have universal meaning across the disciplines. The following excerpt is quoted from the Framework:

Dimension 1: Practices

Dimension 1 describes (a) the major practices that scientists employ as they investigate and build models and theories about the world and (b) a key set of engineering practices that engineers use as they design and build systems. We use the term "practices" instead of a term such as "skills" to emphasize that engaging in scientific investigation requires not only skill but also knowledge that is specific to each practice.

Similarly, because the term "inquiry," extensively referred to in previous standards documents, has been interpreted over time in many different ways throughout the science education community, part of our intent in articulating the practices in Dimension 1 is to better specify what is meant by inquiry in science and the range of cognitive, social, and physical practices that it requires. As in all inquiry-based approaches to science teaching, our expectation is that students will themselves engage in the practices and not merely learn about them secondhand. Students cannot comprehend scientific practices, nor fully appreciate the nature of scientific knowledge itself, without directly experiencing those practices for themselves.

Dimension 2: Crosscutting Concepts

The crosscutting concepts have application across all domains of science. As such, they provide one way of linking across the domains in Dimension 3. These crosscutting concepts are not unique to this report. They echo many of the unifying concepts and processes in the National Science Education Standards, the common themes in the Benchmarks for Science Literacy, and the unifying concepts in the Science College Board Standards for College Success. The framework’s structure also reflects discussions related to the National Science Teachers Association’s Science Anchors project, which emphasized the need to consider not only disciplinary content but also the ideas and practices that cut across the science disciplines.

Dimension 3: Disciplinary Core Ideas

The continuing expansion of scientific knowledge makes it impossible to teach all the ideas related to a given discipline in exhaustive detail during the K-12 years. But given the cornucopia of information available today virtually at a touch—people live, after all, in an information age—an important role of science education is not to teach "all the facts" but rather to prepare students with sufficient core knowledge so that they can later acquire additional information on their own. An education focused on a limited set of ideas and practices in science and engineering should enable students to evaluate and select reliable sources of scientific information, and allow them to continue their development well beyond their K-12 school years as science learners, users of scientific knowledge, and perhaps also as producers of such knowledge.

With these ends in mind, the committee developed its small set of core ideas in science and engineering by applying the criteria listed below. Although not every core idea will satisfy every one of the criteria, to be regarded as core, each idea must meet at least two of them (though preferably three or all four).

Specifically, a core idea for K-12 science instruction should:

1. Have broad importance across multiple sciences or engineering disciplines or be a key organizing principle of a single discipline.
2. Provide a key tool for understanding or investigating more complex ideas and solving problems.
3. Relate to the interests and life experiences of students or be connected to societal or personal concerns that require scientific or technological knowledge.
4. Be teachable and learnable over multiple grades at increasing levels of depth and sophistication. That is, the idea can be made accessible to younger students but is broad enough to sustain continued investigation over years.

In organizing Dimension 3, we grouped disciplinary ideas into four major domains: the physical sciences; the life sciences; the Earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology, and applications of science. At the same time, true to Dimension 2, we acknowledge the multiple connections among domains. Indeed, more and more frequently, scientists work in interdisciplinary teams that blur traditional boundaries. As a consequence, in some instances core ideas, or elements of core ideas, appear in several disciplines (e.g., energy). (NRC, 2012, 30-31)

Translating the Framework to Standards

States volunteered to be Lead State Partners for the development of the NGSS by way of a state partnership agreement signed by their chief state school officer and state board of education chair. The agreement included a commitment by states to convening, in-state, broad-based committee(s) ranging from 50 to 150 members to provide feedback and guidance to the state throughout the process. Twenty-six states signed on to be Lead State Partners. The states provided guidance and direction in the development of the NGSS to the 41-member writing team, composed of K-20 educators and experts in both science and engineering. In addition to six reviews by the lead states and their committees, the NGSS were reviewed during development by hundreds of experts during confidential reviews and tens of thousands of members of the general public during two public review periods.

The Framework formed the basis for the development of the NGSS. For the lead states and writers, alignment withs the Framework was a priority. The NGSS provide the performances students must be able to do at the conclusion of instruction; the Framework provides even more detail about the different attributes of the dimensions illustrated by the standards. This section provides brief descriptions of how different components of the Framework were used to develop the NGSS and a brief description of the process used to develop the NGSS.

Development of the Performance Expectations

The real innovation in the NGSS is the requirement that students operate at the intersection of practice, content, and connection. PEs are the right way to integrate the three dimensions. They provide specificity for educators and set the tone for how science instruction should look in classrooms. If implemented properly, the NGSS will lead to coherent, rigorous instruction that will result in students being able to acquire and apply scientific knowledge to unique situations and to think and reason scientifically. While this is an innovation in state standards, the idea of PEs is used in several other national and international initiatives.

The vision for science education in the 21st century is that all practices are expected to be utilized by educators. Educators and curriculum developers must bear this in mind as they design instruction. For the NGSS development, a key issue in developing the PEs was the actual choice of the practices with the DCI and the CCs, the transition words between the practice and the DCIs language, and the ability of a student to perform the expectation. Due to the nature of some of the Practices, they could not usually be used as a stand-alone practice. Often, the "Asking Questions" Practice leads to an investigation that produces data that can be used as evidence to develop explanations or arguments. Similarly, mathematics is implicit in all science. Models, arguments, and explanations are all based on evidence. That evidence can be mathematics. There are specific places where the standards require mathematics, but the places where mathematics is not explicitly required should not be interpreted as precluding students from using mathematical relationships to support other practices. Ultimately, the NGSS balance the practices within the PEs. However, practices such as models, arguments, and explanations are often more prominent throughout the standards in order to ensure rigorous content receives its due focus.

Disciplinary Core Idea Use and Development

The NGSS were developed based on the grade-band endpoints identified in the Framework. The grade-band endpoints provide the learning progressions with regard to the DCI. Therefore, the DCI grade-band endpoints were placed verbatim into the standards.

The greatest challenge with the core ideas was ensuring a coherent and manageable set of standards. The Framework provides many connections across disciplines that will be very helpful as instructional materials are developed. These connections also create challenges in developing standards. The NGSS present clear actionable standards that are not redundant with other standards, yet preserve these important connections. Standards, by their nature, are student achievement goals and deliberately written not to make curricular connections. The NGSS are written so as not to limit instruction by trying to teach one performance at a time or as the sole instruction.

The other challenge was to ensure a manageable set of standards. The top priority was to ensure coherence and learning progressions. This was accomplished in several ways. First, overlapping or redundant content was eliminated and placed in the area that made most sense. Second, public feedback and feedback from key stakeholders, such as scientific societies and the NSTA, were used to further prune content that was not critical to understanding the larger Disciplinary Core Idea. Small groups of educators were asked to review the NGSS for their grade-level/grade-band/disciplinary area with an eye toward ensuring teachablity. The NGSS now represent a teachable set of standards based on this review. As with all standards, they represent what all students should know, but do not prohibit teachers from going beyond the standards to ensure their students’ needs are met.

Scientific and Engineering Practice and Crosscutting Concept Use and Development

While the Framework identified the SEPs to use in the standards, the document did not identify the learning progressions associated with them. The NGSS include progressions matrices to identify how the goals for each SEPs and CCs change for students at each grade band. The matrices were reviewed and revised during development to provide clear guidance to readers of the document. A great deal of time was taken to ensure that the NGSS writers all had a common understanding of the SEPs and CCs. The NGSS writers strongly encourage states and districts to do the same.

What Is Not Covered in the Next Generation Science Standards

The NGSS have some intentional limitations that must be recognized. Some of the most important limitations are listed below.

  • The NGSS are not meant to limit science instruction to single SEPs. They represent what students should be able to do at the conclusion of instruction, not how they should teach the material.
  • The NGSS have identified the most essential material for students to know and do. The standards were written in a way that leaves a great deal of discretion to educators and curriculum developers. The NGSS are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all that could be included in a K-12 science education nor should they prevent students from going beyond the standards where appropriate.
  • The NGSS do not define advanced work in the sciences. Based on review from college and career faculty and staff, the NGSS form a foundation for advanced work, but students wishing to move into STEM fields should be encouraged to follow their interest with additional coursework.
  • While great care was taken to consider the needs of diverse populations during the development of the NGSS, no one document can fully represent all of the interventions or supports necessary for students with such varying degrees of abilities and needs.

Organization of the Next Generation Science Standards

The standards are organized by grade levels in kindergarten through grade 5. The middle and high school standards are grade banded. To initiate discussion of how the NGSS could impact middle and high school after implementation, a set of model course pathways for middle school and high school were developed and can be found in Appendix K.

A real innovation to the NGSS is the overall coherence. As such, the PEs (the assessable component of the NGSS architecture) can be arranged within a grade level in any way that best represents the needs of states and districts without sacrificing coherence in learning the DCIs.

Use of the Next Generation Science Standards in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

The NGSS have been constructed to focus on the performance required to show proficiency at the conclusion of instruction. This focus on achievement rather than the curriculum allows educators, curriculum developers, and other education stakeholders the flexibility to determine the best way to help their students meet the standards based on their local needs. Teachers should rely on quality instructional products and their own professional judgment as the best way to implement the NGSS in classrooms. The NGSS provide an opportunity to include medicine, engineering, forensics, and other applicable sciences to deliver the standards in ways that interest students and may give them a desire to pursue STEM careers.

Pairing practices with DCIs is necessary to define a discrete set of blended standards, but should not be viewed as the only combinations that appear in instructional materials. In fact, quality instructional materials and instruction must allow students to learn and apply the science practices, separately and in combination, in multiple disciplinary contexts. The practical aspect to science instruction is that the practices are inextricably linked. While the NGSS couples single practices with content, this is intended to be clear about the practice used within that context, not to limit the instruction.

Curriculum and instruction should be focused on "bundles" of PEs to provide a contextual learning experience for students. Students should not be presented with instruction leading to one PE in isolation; rather, bundles of performances provide a greater coherence and efficiency of instructional time. These bundles also allow students to see the connected nature of science and the practices.

Finally, classroom assessment of the NGSS should reflect quality instruction. That is to say, students should be held responsible for demonstrating knowledge of content in various contexts and SEPs. As students progress toward the PE, classroom assessments should focus on accumulated knowledge and various practices. It is important here to remember that the assessment of the NGSS should be on understanding the full DCIs—not just the pieces.

The Affective Domain

The affective domain—the domain of learning that involves interests, experience and enthusiasm—is a critical component to science education. As pointed out in Framework, there is a substantial body of research that supports the close connection between the development of concepts and skills in science and engineering and such factors as interest, engagement, motivation, persistence, and self-identity. Comments about the importance of affective education appear throughout the Framework. For example:

Research suggests that personal interest, experience, and enthusiasm—critical to children’s learning of science at school or in other settings—may also be linked to later educational and career choices. (p. 28)

Discussions involving the history of scientific and engineering ideas, of individual practitioners’ contributions, and of the applications of these endeavors are important components of a science and engineering curriculum. For many students, these aspects are the pathways that capture their interest in these fields and build their identities as engaged and capable learners of science and engineering. (p. 249)

Learning science depends not only on the accumulation of facts and concepts but also on the development of an identity as a competent learner of science with motivation and interest to learn more. (p. 286)

Science learning in school leads to citizens with the confidence, ability, and inclination to continue learning about issues, scientific and otherwise, that affect their lives and communities. (pp. 286-287)

The NGSS strongly agrees with these goals. However, there is a difference in the purpose of the Framework and the NGSS. The Framework projects a vision for K-12 science education, and includes recommendations not only for what students are expected to learn, but also for curriculum, instruction, the professional development of teachers, and assessment.

The purpose of the NGSS is more limited. It is not intended to replace the vision of the Framework, but rather to support that vision by providing a clear statement of the competencies in science and engineering that all students should be able to demonstrate at subsequent stages in their K-12 learning experience. Certainly students will be more likely to succeed in achieving those competencies if they have the curricular and instructional support that encourages their interests in science and engineering. Further, students who are motivated to continue their students and to persist in more advanced and challenging courses are more likely to become STEM-engaged citizens, and in some cases to pursue careers in STEM fields. However, the vision of the Framework is not more likely to be achieved by specifying PEs that signify qualities as interest, motivation, persistence, and career goals. This decision is consistent with the Framework, which does not include affective goals in specifying endpoints of learning in the three dimensions that it recommended be combined in crafting the standards.

Supplemental Materials to the Next Generation Science Standards

A short summary of the appendixes of the NGSS is provided:

Appendix A – Conceptual Shifts

The NGSS provide an important opportunity to improve not only science education but also student achievement. Based on the Framework, the NGSS are intended to reflect a new vision for American science education. The lead states and writing teams identified seven "conceptual shifts" science educators and stakeholders need to make to effectively use the NGSS. The shifts are

  1. K–12 science education should reflects real-world interconnections in science.
  2. The NGSS are student outcomes and are explicitly NOT curriculum.
  3. Science concepts build coherently across K–12.
  4. The NGSS focus on deeper understanding and application of content.
  5. Science and engineering are integrated in K–12 science education.
  6. The NGSS are designed to prepare students for college, careers, and citizenship.
  7. Science standards coordinate with English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics Common Core State Standards.

Appendix B – Response to the Public Drafts

The results of public feedback and the responses by the lead states and writing team can be reviewed for all areas of the NGSS.

Appendix C – College and Career Readiness

A key component to successful standards development is to ensure that the vision and content of the standards properly prepare students for college and career. During the development of the NGSS, a process was initiated to ensure college and career readiness based on available evidence. The process will continue as states work together to confirm a common definition.

Appendix D – "All Standards, All Students"

The NGSS are being developed at a historic time when major changes in education are occurring at the national level. Student demographics are changing rapidly, while science achievement gaps persist. Because the NGSS make high cognitive demands of all students, teachers must shift instruction to enable all students to meet the requirements for college and career readiness.

This appendix highlights implementation strategies that are grounded in theoretical or conceptual frameworks. It consists of three parts. First, it discusses both learning opportunities and challenges, which NGSS present to student groups that have traditionally been underserved in science classrooms. Second, it describes research-based strategies for effective implementation of the NGSS in the science classrooms, schools, homes, and communities. Finally, it provides the context for student diversity by addressing changing demographics, persistent achievement gaps, and education policies affecting non-dominant student groups.

Appendix E – Disciplinary Core Idea Progressions

The NGSS have been developed in learning progressions based on the progressions identified by the grade-band endpoints in the Framework. Short narrative descriptions of the progressions are presented for each DCI in each of the traditional sciences. These progressions were used in the college- and career-readiness review to determine the learning expected for each idea before leaving high school.

Appendix F – Sciences and Engineering Practices

The Framework identifies eight SEPs that mirror the practices of professional scientists and engineers. Use of the practices in the PEs is not only intended to strengthen students’ skills in these practices but also to develop students’ understanding of the nature of science and engineering. Listed below are the SEPs from the Framework:
  1. Asking questions and defining problems
  2. Developing and using models
  3. Planning and carrying out investigations
  4. Analyzing and interpreting data
  5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
  6. Constructing explanations and designing solutions
  7. Engaging in argument from evidence
  8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
The Framework does not specify grade-band endpoints for the SEPs, but instead provides a summary of what students should know by the end of grade 12 and a hypothetical progression for each. The NGSS uses constructed grade-band endpoints for the SEPs that are based on these hypothetical progressions and grade 12 endpoints. These representations of the SEPs appear in the NGSS and supporting foundation boxes. A complete listing of the specific SEPs used in the NGSS is provided in the document.

Appendix G – Crosscutting Concepts

The Framework also identifies seven CCs intended to give students an organizational structure to understand the world and help students make sense of and connect DCIs across disciplines and grade bands. They are not intended as additional content. Listed below are the CCs from the Framework:
  1. Patterns
  2. Cause and Effect
  3. Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
  4. Systems and System Models
  5. Energy and Matter in Systems
  6. Structure and Function
  7. Stability and Change of Systems
As with the SEPs, the Framework does not specify grade-band endpoints for the CCs, but instead provides a summary of what students should know by the end of grade 12 and a hypothetical progression for each. To assist with writing the NGSS, grade-band endpoints were constructed for the CCs that are based on these hypothetical progressions and grade 12 endpoints. These representations of the CCs appear in the NGSS and supporting foundation boxes. A complete listing of the specific CCs used in the NGSS is shown in the document.

Appendix H – Understanding the Scientific Enterprise: The Nature of Science

Based on the public and state feedback, as well as feedback from key partners such as NSTA, steps were taken to make the "Nature of Science" more prominent in the PEs. It is important to note that while the nature of science was reflected in the Framework through the SEPs, understanding the nature of science is more than just a practice. As such, the direction of the lead states was to indicate the nature of science appropriately in both SEPs and CCs. A matrix of nature of science across K-12 is also included in this appendix.

Appendix I – Engineering Design

The NGSS represent a commitment to integrate engineering design into the structure of science education by raising engineering design to the same level as scientific inquiry when teaching science disciplines at all levels, from kindergarten to grade 12. Providing students a foundation in engineering design allows them to better engage in and aspire to solve major societal and environmental challenges they will face in the decades ahead.

Appendix J – Science, Technology, Society and the Environment

The goal that all students should learn about the relationships among science, technology, and society came to prominence in the United Kingdom and the United States starting in the early 1980s. The core ideas that relate science and technology to society and the natural environment in Chapter 8 of the Framework (NRC, 2012) are consistent with efforts in science education for the past three decades.

Appendix K – Model Course Mapping in Middle and High School

The NGSS are organized by grade level for kindergarten through grade 5 and as grade-banded expectations at the middle school (6-8) and high school (9-12) levels. As states and districts consider implementation of the NGSS, it will be important to thoughtfully consider how to organize these grade-banded standards into courses that best prepare students for post-secondary success. To help facilitate this decision-making process, several potential directions for this process are outlined in this appendix.

Appendix L – Connections to the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Science is a quantitative discipline, which means it is important for educators to ensure that students’ learning in science coheres well with their learning in mathematics. To achieve this alignment, the NGSS development team has worked with Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) writing team members to help ensure that the NGSS do not outpace or otherwise misalign to the grade-by-grade standards in CCSSM. Every effort has been made to ensure consistency. It is essential that the NGSS always be interpreted and implemented in such a way that they do not outpace or misalign with the grade-by-grade standards in the CCSSM. This includes the development of NGSS-aligned instructional materials and assessments. This appendix gives some specific suggestions about the relationship between mathematics and science in grades K-8.

Appendix M – Connections to the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects

Literacy skills are critical to building knowledge in science. To ensure the CCSS literacy standards work in tandem with the specific content demands outlined in the NGSS, the NGSS development team worked with the CCSS writing team to identify key literacy connections to the specific content demands outlined in the NGSS. As the CCSS affirm, reading in science requires an appreciation of the norms and conventions of the discipline of science, including understanding the nature of evidence used; an attention to precision and detail; and the capacity to make and assess intricate arguments, synthesize complex information, and follow detailed procedures and accounts of events and concepts. Students also need to be able to gain knowledge from elaborate diagrams and data that convey information and illustrate scientific concepts. Likewise, writing and presenting information orally are key means for students to assert and defend claims in science, demonstrate what they know about a concept, and convey what they have experienced, imagined, thought, and learned. Every effort has been made to ensure consistency between the CCSS and the NGSS. As is the case with the mathematics standards, the NGSS should always be interpreted and implemented in such a way that they do not outpace or misalign to the grade-by-grade standards in the CCSS for literacy (this includes the development of NGSS-aligned instructional materials and assessments).


National Research Council (NRC). 2012. A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Cross-Cutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.