Introduction to the Draft New York State P-12 Science Learning Standards
In January 2015, the New York State Board of Regents approved a proposed plan to develop new draft New York State P-12 Science Learning Standards (NYSSLS). Using the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as a starting point, the Education Department utilized the expertise of many science education stakeholders including those on the Preliminary Draft Writing Team, the Science Standards’ Writing Team, and Science Education Steering Committee to draft a set of science learning standards. This draft incorporates feedback the Department has received over the past few years and maintains the general tenets of the National Research Council’s A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas.
Prior to previewing the Draft New York State P-12 Science Learning Standards, please visit http://www.nextgenscience.org/next-generation-science-standards and review the appendices related to the NGSS. If adopted by the Board of Regents, the NYSSLS may be supported by very similar documents aligned to the NYSSLS. Other resources like those found at http://www.nextgenscience.org/resources may also be developed to support the NYSSLS. For instance, evidence statements specifically aligned to the NYSSLS may be developed.
Other online resources may be of interest prior to previewing the draft NYSSLS. The National Academies Press website found at http://www.nap.edu/ may be searched for publications related to the NGSS. A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas may be downloaded at this site. The National Science Teachers Association offers many resources at http://ngss.nsta.org/ .
The draft NYSSLS maintain the architecture and coding system included in the NGSS. The performance expectations that are preceded by a highlighted code are specific to New York State. All other performance expectations are either taken directly from the NGSS or revised NGSS performance expectations.
The draft NYSSLS are standards, not curriculum. The ordering of the performance expectations does not suggest a specific sequencing related to instruction. The collection of performance expectations at the middle (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12) levels does not specify performance expectations for individual grades or courses.
The draft NYSSLS include four grade-banded sets of engineering design performance expectations, as well as, performance expectations within topic areas that integrate traditional science content with engineering. The intent of these performance expectations is to engage students in science content using engineering principles. They are not intended to supplant technology education instruction or engineering courses aligned to Standard 5 of the New York State Learning Standards for Mathematics, Science, and Technology.
The Education Department plans to post a public survey to collect feedback related to the draft NYSSLS in the near future. The feedback received will inform revisions to the draft NYSSLS prior to presenting them to the Board of Regents for discussion and eventual adoption.