In 2011, A Framework for K-12 Science Education (Framework) was published, leading to the development of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and multiple state standards that use the Framework as their foundation. As of 2021, 20 states have adopted the NGSS and 24 use standards informed by the Framework.
Public opinion of the NGSS is high. A recent study published by in AERA found that public sentiment around the NGSS is popular with educators, and that feeling of positivity continues to increase year over year with teachers in both NGSS and non-NGSS states. But when it comes to instructional materials aligned to the standards, materials are not supporting this vision for science education.
A new report, Call to Action for Science Education, from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that “for many students, instructional materials, supplies, and other critical curriculum resources are insufficient,” and while high -quality instructional resources are starting to be more available “...many students are still provided with out-of-date textbooks and have their laboratory or investigation work limited by a lack of material and supplies.”
In order for the instructional innovations laid out in the Framework and NGSS to take hold, teachers need high-quality instructional materials that support students to figure out a contextualized phenomenon or solve a problem using science ideas and practices rather than learning about an isolated science topic.
EdReports is tracking the curriculum market to identify how well products support this learning. The organization has analyzed the marketplace based on reviews of the comprehensive materials available for districts and schools to adopt, data from the nationally representative RAND American Instructional Resources Survey, and other research on what is being used in classrooms.