The following summarizes content from the State's Application for Lead State Partnership in 2011.
Partner Organizations: NJ STEM Education Council; Liberty Science Center
Background: New Jersey requires students to complete fifteen credits of lab-based science courses, including biology, chemistry, physics or environmental science and one additional lab-based science course. The New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for Science are divided by grade bands with science practices defined for the end of grades 4, 8, and 12, and the content standards in physical science, life science, and earth systems science defined for the end of grades 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12. The New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK) assesses science in grades 4 and 8, with 40% of the test evaluating Life Science, 30% Physical Science, and 30% Earth Science. In high school, the New Jersey Biology Competency Test assesses students in biology the same year a biology course is completed. The current New Jersey standards were adopted in 2009, and were the first set of NJ standards to incorporate science practices, which will serve as a segue to the NGSS. The next scheduled review period for New Jersey’s science standards is in 2014, however the administrative code allows for standards review at an “as needed” basis, and release of the NGSS could be a reason to review and adopt standards earlier than scheduled.