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Effective science teaching and learning prepares students to achieve the learning goals of today’s science standards by asking students to make sense of the world around them, using both knowledge and practice, rather than by asking them merely to recite memorized facts or conduct a laboratory investigation to confirm what they already learned in a lecture.
Assessments are important signals to both teachers and students about what we value most in student learning experiences. What we value about the shift from “learning about” to “figuring out” in instruction needs to be reflected in assessments.
Equitable assessments — designed to be meaningful, empowering, accessible, and fair — can give educators better information about what all students know and can do in science.
The NextGenScience team continues to support educators across the country in using the Science Task Screener and Science Task Prescreen tools* to:
- Build understanding of classroom tasks that measure student proficiency in today’s science standards.
- Develop, select, or modify tasks that ask students to demonstrate a targeted grade-appropriate, three-dimensional performance.
- Apply a coherent system of assessments to efficiently gather information for different audiences and purposes (e.g., classroom teachers to inform instruction or district and state leaders to inform programmatic and policy decisions).
*These tools were developed when the NextGenScience team was a part of Achieve.