The Next Generation Science Standards Will Fail Our Children

Time is running out for the NH Board of Education to fulfill its promise to begin development of Common Core aligned science standards. The agreement was part of the original ESEA waiver application to get out of the No Child Left Behind obligations. In the ESEA Flexibility Waiver dated September 6, 2012, the NH BOE promised to develop Common Core aligned science standards in the 2014-2015 school year. Odds are that they will use the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) because they are the Common Core science standards, rebranded to avoid the toxic Common Core label.

The Next Generation Science Standards are not supported by science teachers and professionals for numerous reasons.

1) NGSS eliminates high school chemistry, the lab portion of high school physics, and lowers the standards for most math necessary to study these subjects in depth.

2) Common Core math standards for high school only reach a weak Algebra II level. This is insufficient for physics including the AP Physics exam.

3) NGSS are only marginally better than those used in half the states.

4) NGSS does not provide the prerequisite, elementary-level knowledge needed to pursue high-school level science studies.

5) The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) and Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS) standards already used in some states are superior to the NGSS.

6) NGSS were “backwards-engineered” for testing, not teaching.

7) NGSS strongly emphasizes climate change over other important scientific concepts such as electrons, oxidation, and genetics.

With all these flaws, why should New Hampshire continue down a path of implementing the NGSS? If the NH BOE wishes to improve our state science standards, why not select one that is excellent? Why are we settling for mediocre and dumbing-down our children’s science education?

Contact the state BOE to encourage them to reject the NGSS in favor of better standards. And ask your local school board to do the same.