The first public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards is available from May 11 to June 1. We welcome and appreciate your feedback. [The Next Generation Science Standards]
Note that there are only 3 weeks given for the public review of this draft of the science standards, and that time is almost up. I’ve not had time to read the standards yet, and I doubt that many others have either. We have to hope that someone we respect has enough time on their hands to have done the commenting for us (but the people I respect are all busy—particularly the teachers who are going to have to implement the standards—so who is going to do the commenting?).
I’m also having some difficulty finding a document containing the standards themselves. There are clear links to front matter, how to interpret the standards, a survey for collecting feedback, a search interface, and various documents about the standards, but I had a hard time finding a simple link to a single document containing all the standards. It was hidden on their search page, rather than being an obvious link on the main page.
I glanced over some of the high school standards, and I was not particularly impressed by either the clarity or the content. The “Engineering Design” standards seemed to be contentless, and several of the physics standards seemed rather arbitrary in what they included and excluded.
Why, for example, is
f. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate scientific literature about the differences and similarities between analog and digital representations of information to describe the relative advantages and disadvantages.
considered part of “HS.PS-ER Electromagnetic Radiation”?
There is no mention in the standards of any computer science, and precious little mention of computers (usually invoking the use of a simulation of something).
There are some good points in the standards (like requiring that students understand evolution), but I’ve no idea how well the standards align to what can and should be taught to middle school and high school students. I hope that there are teachers who are familiar with the capabilities of average students who will comment on the standards relevant to classes they teach, to make sure that the standards are neither ridiculously vague nor unrealistically rigorous.
Teachers wanting to look at only a tiny subset of the standards (not all 87 pages) can use the search page to pick out just the relevant standards and comment on them.