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Next Generation Assessments for Measuring Complex Learning in Science

Abstract

"This is not a time to be conservative about implementing new forms of assessment, such as VPAs. It is abundantly clear that digitized versions of paper-and-pencil, item-based tests are insufficient to assess vital STEM skills like science inquiry. In fact, substantial evidence shows that these tests are undercutting students' learning the key knowledge, skills and abilities required for careers that could help the United States to compete in the global, knowledge-based economy (NRC,2006; PCAST, 2010; USDOE, 2010; NRC, 2011). Policymakers and state education leaders have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fundamentally improve the way students' science-related knowledge, skills and abilities are assessed. We hope they have the courage and foresight to rapidly implement innovations that can foster students' mastery of science and ultimately, their success in college, career and life."

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