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Criteria for alignment of expectations and assessments in mathematics and science education


Alignment is central to current efforts of systemic and standards-based education reforms in mathematics and science. More than four-fifths of the states have content frameworks in place in mathematics or science. A large number of these have some form of a statewide assessment to measure student attainment of expectations given in the frameworks. These reforms are based, in part, on the premise that student outcomes will be improved through creating coherent systems of expectations and assessments. Expectations are major elements of educational policy on what students should know about mathematics and science and what they should be able to do with that knowledge. Assessments are major elements of educational policy used to measure student achievement and are classroom tools used by teachers. All assessments used within a state or district constitute an assessment system. The purpose of this monograph is to define criteria for judging the alignment between expectations and assessments.