A Critical Review of the Massachusetts Next Generation Science and Technology/Engineering Standards

The draft Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Standards, which are for pre-Kindergarten to Grade 8 and introductory high school courses, have significant, unacceptable gaps in science content, as well as some notable errors and inaccuracies. They are stunningly devoid of Mendelian genetics and large parts of cellular biology. This is an astonishing oversight for a state that has notable institutions of higher education and a thriving biotechnology industry. The principles of evolutionary biology are also incomplete and sometimes incorrectly stated. The standards are largely unintelligible because of abuses of the language, and sometimes grammatically incorrect. They do not support the stated purpose of standards, to indicate what students should know and be able to do. In fact, it is not certain, because of the feverish use of “action verbs” in this document, whether students will actually “know”.┬áThe draft should be withdrawn from further consideration.

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