A Comparison Between the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Frameworks in Science, Technology and Engineering Literacy, and Mathematics

Austin Lasseter
Sarah Guile
Juliet Holmes

New national standards documents have been developed over the past few years in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and are leading to major changes in state curricula and assessments. The most recent of these documents is the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Knowing how the NGSS relate to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) assessment frameworks for STEM subjects—science, technology and engineering literacy (TEL), and mathematics—is important for policymakers, researchers, educators, and the public.

This study provides information primarily on the extent of alignment between the NGSS and NAEP frameworks in science and TEL and identifies areas of similarity and difference between them. In particular, it describes the extent of content overlap, reflecting related content and the potential for content alignment, as well as the actual content alignment, based on the degree of content similarity. In addition, the study provides information about the level of mathematics alignment―the extent to which performance expectations in the NGSS that involve mathematics are covered in the NAEP mathematics framework and at which grades―which supplements the science and TEL comparisons.

The study showed that, despite their differences in goals, there were many similarities between the NGSS and the NAEP science and TEL frameworks. The key results from the science and TEL comparisons are summarized in this report, focusing mainly on the comparisons of the NGSS with NAEP, although notable findings of the comparisons of NAEP to the NGSS are highlighted as well. These are followed by the key findings from the mathematics comparisons.