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Next Generation Science Standards

What is NGSS?

NGSS is the Next Generation Science Standards. These standards are a new, state-led approach for internationally benchmarked guidelines in K-12 science education.

Why new standards now?

You might be familiar with the standards from the National Research Council (NRC) or the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) — these are both currently used to guide state science standards. Both are around 15 years old, and while these guidelines remain robust, much has changed in the science and engineering world in the intervening 15 years. Sensing a growing need in the STEM sector for knowledgeable employees, NGSS hopes to address this gap with a new way of engaging with students at all levels in the practice and application of science.

Who created NGSS?

There are many state-led and nationwide partners in the development of the Next Generation Science Standards. Included among them are the National Research Council (NRC), the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Other key partners included teachers, science and policy staff, higher education faculty, scientists, engineers, cognitive scientists, and business leaders.

NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts

The California Science Test (CAST)

The California Science Test (CAST) is an online assessment based on the California Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). 

The CAST operational test uses the current California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test delivery system and is only administered online.

The CAST is administered in grades five and eight and once to each student while that student is in high school. All students must take the CAST by the end of grade twelve but have the option of testing in grade ten or grade eleven. Only eligible students may participate in the administration of the CAST. 

Students assigned to take an alternate assessment should take the California Alternate Assessment for Science.

California Science Test Fact Sheet

For more information about NGS and CAST, the following resources are available: