In this paper, the authors present an approach to designing assessments for the intended purpose of evaluating curriculum interventions for NGSS implementation in schools. The use of evidence-centered design (ECD) is discussed and illustrated in an example from an urban middle school in which assessment is used to evaluate science curriculum materials. Recommendations for developing NGSS-aligned assessments for program evaluation are provided, and the assessment design process is discussed in detail.
Policymakers, assessment developers, and educators will find this paper on NGSS assessment for program evaluation informative and timely. With implementation of the NGSS already underway in many schools, the focus on instruction and curriculum evaluation is increasing. The authors discuss many of the unique challenges related to assessment design that are present in assessments developed for evaluation purposes. The context provided to illustrate the use of ECD and as a starting point for many of the authors’ recommendations is detailed and includes rich examples. Additional examples at different grade levels and in different contexts would provide additional evidence for effectiveness.