Because the committee proceeded on the assumption that the framework and resulting standards identify those practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas that are required for all students, some topics covered in advanced or specialized courses may not be fully represented. That is, the framework and resulting standards are not intended to represent all possible practices, concepts, and ideas covered in the full set of science courses offered through grade 12 (e.g., Advanced Placement or honors courses; technology courses; computer science courses; and social, behavioral, or economic science courses). Rather, the framework and standards represent the set of scientific and engineering practices, concepts, and ideas that all students should encounter as they move through required course sequences in the natural sciences.
Recommendation 2: Standards should be scientifically accurate yet also clear, concise, and comprehensible to science educators.
Standards for K-12 science education (a) provide guidance to education professionals about the priorities for science education and (b) articulate the learning goals that must be pursued in curricula, instruction, and assessments.
Scientific rigor and accuracy are paramount because standards serve as reference points for other elements of the system. Thus any errors in the standards are likely to be replicated in curricula, instruction, and assessments. Similarly, standards should clearly describe the scientific practices in which students will engage in classrooms . Clarity is important because curriculum developers, textbook and materials selection committees, assessment designers, and others need to develop a shared understanding of the outcomes their efforts are intended to promote .
At the same time, standards related to the framework’s concepts, ideas, and practices must be described in language that is comprehensible to individuals who are not scientists. Even though some of the professionals who play a role in interpreting standards do not have deep expertise in science, they nevertheless need to develop ways to support students’ learning in science and to determine whether students have met the standards. Standards also provide a mechanism for communicating educational priorities to an even broader set of stakeholders, including parents, community members, business people, and policy leaders at the state and national levels. Thus, although standards need to communicate accurately important scientific ideas and practices, they must