Challenges Envisioned for Next-Generation Science Tests
Amidst growing fights over common state standards and tests for mathematics and English/language arts, the separate set of common K-12 science standards have been quietly gaining steam, but some experts predict that measuring student progress under these standards may require even more testing innovation than the common core.
Less than six months after the final Next-Generation Science Standards were released by a consortium of 26 states and several national groups, seven states have adopted and started to implement them: California, Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Researchers and education officials from those and other states met in Washington last week at a summit sponsored by the Education Testing Service, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and the College Board to discuss new ways to measure what students learn from them.
The standards ask students to take a much deeper approach to understanding science concepts and processes, and to apply their knowledge through scientific experiments, investigations, and engineering designs. As a result, the standards will require educators to measure not just how well students can recite facts or predict experimental outcomes, but also to gauge how well students develop and use conceptual models on their own, develop and follow lines of investigation,...
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