Finished my first complete readthrough of the middle school NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS today.
Generally, I have a favorable feeling about them. I do disagree with specifying computer modeling in any standard. Not because it's bad, but because if one just doesn't have the available hardware or adequate software, then the standard becomes moot.
But overall no big surprises and very little that isn't already being done in major curricula (FOSS or STC).
Some rote knowledge is reintroduced, and I appreciate how rote knowledge is usually specified as something that should first have been derived or constructed. I'm sure that many will likely stick to memorization activities (the derivation and/or learning process would be difficult to assess).