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NGSS, take two

The second public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards is available on-line — and your feedback is invited. The Next Generation Science Standards are intended to be "rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education." The second draft will be available on-line for feedback from January 8, 2013 to January 29, 2013. After the writing team reacts to the review, a final draft is expected in the winter of 2013, with the final version of the standards released for adoption thereafter.

The second public draft of the NGSS is "the result of the first public feedback, lead state and non-lead state feedback, National Science Teacher Association (NSTA), and national and local critical stakeholder feedback." Appendix B to the draft summarizes the public feedback and the response. According to the appendix, "A small number of reviewers asked that evolution not be included in the standards." The response was, "Evolution was identified in the Framework as the basis for understanding all the natural sciences. As such it was included in the NGSS." Feedback about the treatment of climate change in the standards was not mentioned.

As with the National Research Council's 2011 A Framework for K-12 Science Education, on which it is based, the second draft of the Next Generation Science Standards is not reticent about evolution and climate change. In life sciences, Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity is one of four main topics at the high school level and the middle school level. Similarly, in earth and space sciences, Earth and Human Activity is one of three main topics at the high school level and the middle school level.