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The Next Generation Science Standards: State of the States

Joshua Youngkin


The Huffington Post has weighed in on the subject of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a push to make public K-12 science education roughly the same from state to state. As the article points out, not everyone likes the idea:

Although the adoption of the NGSS has been controversial in other parts of the country, Wyoming is the first and only state to take legislative action to prevent [its] Board of Education from reviewing the Science Standards, according to a press release from education advocacy group Climate Parents.

True, only the state of Wyoming has so far legislatively preempted its Board of Education from considering the NGSS, but the same preemptive legislative action is pending in other legislatures this session.

The state of Maryland has one of these NGSS preemption bills before it. So does Michigan. Kentucky has two, one in the House, one in the Senate. Tennessee also has one in each chamber, upper and lower. Georgia has one. Alabama has one. And Mississippi does too. So the statehouse in Wyoming is hardly alone in taking this matter seriously.

Now, why might legislators want to deter their respective boards of education from considering adoption and implementation of the NGSS? We’ve previously listed some possible reasons here, but a big reason should be that the NGSS do not encourage the development of curricula (or testing or professional development) that encourages critical thinking in students on hot science topics like human evolution and climate change.

Photo: Wyoming State Capitol/Wikpedia.

Joshua Youngkin

An attorney, and previously, Discovery Institute Program Officer in Public Policy and Legal Affairs.