What Is The Difference Between NGSS & CCSS?

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards share the same goal of setting educational standards for American students, but there are key differences between the two. Read on to learn more about both sets of standards.

NGSS and CCSS: Differences and Similarities

Both Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core State Standards (CCSS) aim to streamline what elementary, middle school and high school students should be learning in each grade to prepare them for life after high school. CCSS focuses on math, English and literacy while NGSS solely targets the subject of science. While the two were developed independent of each other, they are designed so educators may use them together effectively.

NGSS At a Glance

Next Generation Science Standards outline the science students should learn at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The standards comprise three elements: core scientific subject matter, engineering and scientific skills needed to practically apply academic knowledge, and crosscutting concepts that are fundamental to all areas of science. NGSS is structured around performance expectations for each grade level, each of which outlines the three components, along with ideas on how to tie in elements of the Common Core State Standards.

CCSS At a Glance

CCSS are comprised of two sets of standards. Both share the goal of preparing high school graduates with the math and English skills they will be expected to possess in college and their careers.

English Language Arts/Literacy standards

The English language arts/literacy standards focus on reading, writing, language, and speaking and listening skills that grow increasingly complex at each grade level. They also emphasize mastery of these skills within real-world contexts. As such, the standards incorporate literacy expectations for history/social studies and science/technical subject matter.

Math Standards

The Common Core math standards outline both the mathematical concepts students should learn at each grade level, along with practical math skills. This means that, in addition to mastering important mathematical subjects such as algebra or geometry, students must demonstrate mathematical practices such as problem solving, reasoning, and modeling.

How are Standards Being Implemented

As of February 2016, 18 states and the District of Columbia had adopted NGSS. This represents a much slower rate of adoption than CCSS, which have been adopted by 42 states and D.C. For both sets of standards, the responsibility for implementing, creating appropriate curricula, and deciding on how to assess students lies with states and local school districts.

NGSS and CCSS Resources for Educators

Study.com offers many online courses for educators charged with implementing CCSS and NGSS. Each course comprises chapters featuring supplemental lessons and ideas for teaching the concepts and skills outlined within the standards. Courses are self-paced and accessible to busy teachers 24/7.

NGSS Courses

Grade Level Study.com Courses Available
Elementary School Science for Kids
Middle School Physical Science: Middle School, Earth Science: Middle School, Life Science Middle School
High School High School Physical Science, Earth Science, High School Biology

CCSS Courses

Grade Level Subject Study.com CCSS Courses Available
6th Grade Math Grade Ratios & Proportional Relationships, The Number System, Expressions & Equations, Statistics & Probability, Geometry
7th Grade ELA Literature, Language, Writing, Speaking & Listening
Math Expressions & Equations, Ratios & Proportional Relationships, Statistics & Probability, Geometry, The Number System
8th Grade ELA Writing, Literature, Language
Math Functions, Expressions & Equations, The Number System, Statistics & Probability, Geometry
High School Grades 9 & 10 ELA Literature, Writing, Language, Informational Text, Speaking & Listening
High School Grades 11 & 12 ELA Language, Literature, Informational Text, Writing, Speaking & Listening, Literacy: History & Social Studies
High School Grades 9 - 12 Math Algebra, Statistics & Probability, Geometry, Functions, Number & Quantity

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