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Monday, August 4, 2014

Next Generation Science Standards Adopted by New Jersey's Department of Education

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. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is based on the Framework for K–12 Science Education developed by the National Research Council.

Recently, the NGSS were adopted by the State Board of Education of New Jersey on July 9, 2014. The implementation timeline is as follows:

  • Grades 6-12 to implement by the start of the 2016-2017 school year.
  • Grades K-5 to implement by the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

Resources, including professional development, will be available beginning in September 2014. As it becomes available, information and updates will be posted on the science webpage here and through the science list serve.

The consensus among states that have adopted the NGSS is that it is essential for teachers of science to become experts on the Frameworks for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012) before making any changes to the local curriculum. The department has established a timeline that provides sufficient time to make the transition, but the work needs to be sustained, intensive, and begin during the fall of 2014.

The NJDOE's professional development plan is to focus on district level administrators during the fall 2014. Building level administrators will be the target of professional development offerings in the spring of 2015. Professional development for teachers of science will begin in late spring 2015 and focus on the model science curriculum and ancillary unit assessments.

Click here to learn more about NGSS.