Inherent Measurement Challenges in the Next Generation Science Standards for Both Formative and Summative Assessment

The authors of this paper provide an overview of the major challenges associated with assessment of the NGSS, specifically the trade-offs that should be considered when designing a system of assessments. Assessment developers and state policymakers will benefit from this resource as they begin to design both formative and summative assessments for the NGSS. The authors identify three main areas of challenges resulting from the complexity of the NGSS standards—challenges for task design and scoring, challenges for psychometric modeling, and practical and logistical challenges—and proposes strategies for addressing these challenges. 

Content Comments 

This paper discusses some of the major challenges that assessment developers will face when designing NGSS assessments. The authors discuss the implications of the complexity of the NGSS for assessment, particularly on summative assessment for individual high-stakes accountability reporting. The authors provide important insights and guidance on how to address these issues, and provide several strategies and methods for mitigating the complexities. This paper is both timely and relevant, as a number of states have already adopted the NGSS and are currently in the process of planning for assessment of the NGSS. It should be noted that additional resources have been released since the date of publication, including NGSS Evidence Statements that further support assessment of the standards, so a discussion of how these resources should be considered in assessment design is not included in the paper.