This is a three-day conference designed to support the development and use of K-12 formative and summative assessments aligned with the Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012). The focal point of the conference is to build a shared understanding of the instructional and assessment shifts required by this framework, the types of student classroom and assessment work that yields evidence of student competence, and the key considerations in the development of engaging, responsive, and broadly accessible resources.

The conference hosts two integrated events: (1) an Invitational Research Symposium on Science Assessment with assessment and science education specilaists to analyze challenging constructs within the new science education framework from a measurement perspective; and (2) a State Collaboratives on Assessment and Student Standards working session with states' representatives to develop deep understanding of the most challenging and cutting-edge learning goals embedded in the framework. To achieve its purpose, Educational Testing Service joins efforts with the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Council of State Science Supervisors, and the Alliance for Excellent Education.

The conference outcomes are (1) a set of newly conceptualized science tasks (from state science specialists) aligned with the vision of the new science education framework for science proficiency; and (2) a set of templates, tools, and processes that state teams can use in their jurisdictions (a) to conduct capacity-building sessions, and (b) to ensure that resources address the hard-to-measure constructs articulated in the new science education framework.

Project Report

Essential to the delivery of quality teaching and student learning in K-12 science education is the capacity of the science professionals across the grades in the K-12 Education system. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) require well-trained educators who are able to successfully implement these curricular expectations in their daily instruction of K-12 students. A critical driver in this reform work will be the availability of quality and rigorous student assessments that measure the full range of the knowledge and skills embedded in the standards and that report accurately on how well students are doing. This DRK-12 grant, Science Assessment Planning Among State Teams, focused on building the capacity of state education agency staff—both science content and assessment experts—so that states would be better prepared to implement new standards and new science assessments as part of each state’s individual delivery of quality science education across the K-12 system. In the fall of 2013 an Invitational Research Symposium on Science Assessment brought together the best thinkers in the area of K-12 assessment and science education, with some 92 state science content and assessment personnel from 35 states, including 33 states with a team present. A follow-up survey (six months after the Symposium) in the spring of 2014 reported positive impact on state leaders in helping their states prepare for evidence-based assessments of student achievement of the Next Generation Science Standards. Specifically, 86% found the two-day Invitational Research Symposium on Science Assessment to be helpful; 62% found it very helpful. Similarly, 72% of the same group found the follow-up workshop organized by the Chief State School Officers to be helpful, and 51% found it very helpful. The papers, slide presentations, videos, webinar, final report, and follow-up survey evaluation (33 resources in total) are available at the K-12 Center website: and have been accessed and viewed/downloaded 15,831 times between October 2013 and July 2014.

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Educational Testing Service
United States
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