For the past 10 years, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have been available standards for K–12 science education and have been adopted in many states. For example, California adopted a version of the NGSS known as the California NGSS Framework. Other supporting materials have been published for implementation and curricular guidance in the form of Appendices, Evidence Statements, District Guides, and Department Curriculum Guides. Despite all the guides and guidance, there still remain large curricular discrepancies among schools, districts, and states. Here we will highlight one such discrepancy that has been observed in our work with physics teachers around the state of California, specifically whether we should be teaching circuits. In this article, the authors demonstrate that the NGSS contain both explicit and implicit performance expectations that support circuit experiments as a standard part of the high school physics curriculum.

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