Coherent and Student Centered Science Assessment Systems
By Crystal Starr Howe
When someone tells you to think about assessment, what pops into your head? After spending the last year talking about NGSS assessment with thoughtful science educators from across California, I think of this depiction of a Coherent Assessment System currently included in multiple content frameworks for California, including the Science Framework.
The CA NGSS Collaborative (a joint effort of the California Department of Education, California Science Project, California Association of Science Educators, CCSESA, and the K-12 Alliance @WestEd), has been providing high quality CA NGSS professional learning since 2014. This year, the collaborative has been focused on unpacking our systems of science assessment and developing a professional learning that allows educators to consider the strengths and weaknesses of their science assessment systems in the classroom, the school site, the district, and the connection of these assessment systems to the CA Science Test (CAST).
This professional learning series provides educators the opportunity to explore a classroom based assessment within their grade band, use the dimensions of NGSS to discuss the usefulness and quality of assessment, and really focus on what it means to both give assessments and use them to inform instruction.
Educators also get to try on tools they can use to evaluate the strengths of NGSS tasks from a CA NGSS lens and an equity view. All of this shared understanding is then brought to an analysis of educators’ own assessments systems and support to develop a plan to move towards an equitable science assessment system focused on student learning.
For more information on the January and March 2023 offerings of this professional learning series and to register, visit the CA NGSS Collaborative website.
For materials related to the previous CA NGSS Professional Learning, please see the CA NGSS Collaborative page on CASE.