PEEC for NGSS Instructional Materials Design

NOTE: PEEC is an archived tool. It is still posted online as it is being used by disticts and may still be the right choice for districts who have built a lot of capacity in using the EQuIP Rubic for Science that it is based on, but Achieve partnered with WestEd's K-12 Alliance and BSCS Science Learning to develop an even more robust tool for selecting instructional materials programs while also building capacity in your selection team, and planning for the implementation of the materials. The new toolkit is NextGen TIME.

Overview of PEEC

PEEC is an acronym for the Primary Evaluation of Essential Criteria for NGSS Instructional Materials Design. 



PEEC takes the compelling vision for science education as described in A Framework for K–12 Science Education and embodied in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and operationalizes it for two purposes:

  1. to help educators determine how well instructional materials under consideration have been designed for the Framework and NGSS, and
  2. to help curriculum developers construct and write science instructional materials that are designed for the Framework and NGSS.

The resource seeks to focus educators and curriculum developers on the critical innovations within the NGSS and dig deeply into materials to (1) evaluate the presence of those innovations and (2) answer the question "How thoroughly are these science instructional materials designed for the NGSS? PEEC can be used by educators to evaluate the NGSS design of textbooks as well as comprehensive science instructional materials programs designed to include different units, kits, modules, textbooks, textbook series, or web-based instructional materials, including open educational resources. PEEC enables curriculum developers to more easily create and refine instructional materials, and do so knowing that their efforts are focused on the same NGSS innovations that schools, districts, and states will be using to select their instructional materials. 

Throughout PEEC, the word “designed” is intentionally used rather than “aligned.” The word “designed” was chosen because it reflects the degree to which the materials were consciously planned and organized to support the NGSS. For curriculum developers, this might mean starting from scratch and building new materials, or it might mean starting with existing materials and significantly reworking them. The focus either way is ensuring that the NGSS Innovations are a foundational aspect of, and clearly visible within, instructional materials.

Download PEEC 1.1 here. Find Frequently Asked Questions about PEEC here.

Development Process

PEEC was developed in a collaborative and iterative process managed by Achieve, including a public draft review in summer 2015 and small group focused review sessions thereafter. Focus group feedback was provided by the following organizations: American Association of Publishers, Council of Chief State School Officers, Council of Great City Schools, Council of State Science Supervisors, Hands on Science Partnership, K-12 Alliance, National Science Education Leadership Association, and National Science Teachers Association. 

Although PEEC was explicitly designed to evaluate materials designed for the NGSS, the innovations that are part of these standards are fundamentally rooted in the Framework. This means that any states and districts that did not adopt the NGSS, but that adopted standards based on the three dimensions of the Framework, should also be able to use PEEC to evaluate their instructional materials.

PEEC Professional Learning Facilitator's Guide

PEEC Professional Learning Facilitator's Guide is intended to support districts, school educators, and states to design and deliver professional learning that can provide an understanding of the process necessary to use PEEC to evaluate science instructinoal materials programs. Read more about the Guide here.

Share Feedback on PEEC

PEEC represents the collective input, guidance, and efforts of many science educators around the country. As their work continues, subsequent versions of PEEC will build on and incorporate their experience. Educators and curriculum developers are invited to share feedback and suggestions for how to improve subsequent versions of PEEC by emailing