What Can Be Learned From Current Large-Scale Assessment Programs to Inform Assessment of the Next Generation Science Standards?

This paper discusses and explores innovations in existing large-scale assessment programs that could be used to inform efforts to assess the NGSS. The author provides an in-depth discussion of the 16 scientific and engineering practices embodied in the NRC Framework and the NGSS, and summarizes the practices’ inclusion in five large-scale assessment frameworks. Thorough examinations of the five large-scale assessment frameworks, as well as illustrative examples of innovative items that operationalize the practices, are included. The paper closes with a discussion of directions for future work to support effective assessment of the NGSS.

Content Comments 

This paper provides an in-depth examination of current large-scale assessment programs, with an emphasis on supporting effective assessment of science and engineering practices (SEPs). The analysis of multiple item and task samples and the presentation of specific alignment data make this a valuable source of information for assessment developers, policymakers, and educators. Further, the detail provided for each SEP will help support the application of the recently released evidence statements in the design of NGSS-aligned assessments, as the developers of the evidence statements used the SEPs as the organizing structure.