This project is funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI); our partners are the University of Illinois-Chicago and SRI International.
The primary objective of this project is to design new classroom-based assessments for middle school life science and physical science instruction that are aligned to the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) at the middle school level. The project team will develop assessment tasks that can be used formatively by teachers to assess students progress toward achieving the new performance expectations for life and physical science in the middle grade levels.
The NGSS, released in 2013, are widely expected to influence science assessment and curriculum development going forward; the new standards are very different from prior national standards, and will involve learners in a much more active way. Students will use scientific practices to develop and apply core ideas and cross-cutting concepts. Our nation's increasingly diverse classrooms call for research and development of the next generation of standards-based assessments that blend disciplinary core ideas, science practices and cross-cutting concepts that are instructionally suitable for use in classrooms.
Designing high-quality assessments of student learning aligned to the Framework and NGSS is critical for establishing a coherent and consistent approach to K-12 science education. This study will result in assessment design patterns that support student learning, as well as exemplar items and rubrics that can be used formatively in life science instruction.