Topic: "Developing the next generation science standards: A conversation with Achieve"
MSPnet Academy Discussion
September 27 - October 11, 2011
Work is progressing to develop the Next Generation Science Standards. This informational session will provide an update on the development of these standards, how science educators can be involved, and implications for science teaching and learning.
Archives for this academy
Welcome to the discussion on the next generation science standards
posted by: Stephen Pruitt on 9/27/2011 10:44 am
post moderated on 9/27/2011
posted by: William Harper on 9/28/2011 11:42 am
What is Achieve?
posted by: Brian Drayton on 9/27/2011 8:22 pm
posted by: Brian Drayton on 9/28/2011 2:36 pm
I have read the Achieve.org website, so I know the basics available there. The thing is, there are a lot of commissions, nonprofits, think tanks, etc. on the landscape (of education and many other areas, of course). I want to understand how Achieve, as one of these, actually fits into the way policy gets implemented - clearly it's been embraced by the Obama administration, but what role is envisioned for the common core when ESEA is reauthorized (if it is)? What support does it have in Congress? What are the minimum steps a state should take for implementation? How is Achieve working with CCSSO to encourage testing and integration?
In other words: The common core is not just a set of standards, it represents a large-scale policy undertaking, which will require a long investment of attention, as well as money and expertise to be realized. I don't understand yet the theory of action, the logic model.
Assessments, inquiry, and standards
posted by: Joni Falk on 9/28/2011 1:13 pm
But I suspect that the assessments will influence how, and to what extent, the standards are adopted. The ways that students are asked to demonstrate their knowledge may also end up shaping how much experimentation and inquiry takes place.
We know that inquiry, labs, hands-on experiences, and field take time. Unless the assessments tap into the the skills gained through these experiences, I fear they may be left out.
I would be interested in hearing how you think the path from standards to assessments will take place, and if you suspect that this will vary greatly by state?
post moderated on 9/28/2011
Developing the next generation science standards
posted by: Jeffery Murfree on 9/29/2011 8:45 am
Students need the experiences of inquiry, laboratory, hands-on, field and real world application in order to make sense of what they are learning. These kind of experiences will lead to quality assessments and successful mastery by students. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. If assessment is not apart of the equation, I am afraid that we are in a "short-lived" reform effort. Jeff
posted by: William Harper on 9/30/2011 9:58 am
posted by: Donna Cleland on 9/30/2011 10:27 am
post moderated on 10/1/2011
posted by: Robin Cochran-Dirksen on 10/1/2011 10:04 am
Assessing Critical Thinking Using Technology
posted by: Ibrahim Dahlstrom-Hakki on 10/1/2011 12:43 pm
posted by: Frank Gardella on 10/1/2011 5:52 pm
What shows on the report card of a student who earns 40 out of 85 is the '65' scale score. Although percent correct may not be the best, it is far better than what scale scoring does to determine how much an individual student truly knows.
NY End result vs testing progression
posted by: Betsy Stefany on 10/2/2011 7:33 pm
You may be looking too closely at the one test and the its end result. It is my experience that the process in good NY schools is more student focused than your numbers show. At the end of 6th grade a skills practice test is given on physical science knowledge. During 7-8 grade, prior to the 8th grade test, "DBQ's"..Document Based Questions are part of all domain study, aiding students to embed critical thinking in multiple domains...and data evidence. By the 8th grade test , the grounding skills towards the high school regents are tested. This gradual, leaning on knowledge development towards the final Regents courses sets up for a scale score to provide a balance to the TEST design...rather than then student population. This flexibility is overseen by the Regents Committee and one can see the benefit in the Math test from the 2003 or 4 period which was found to be flawed.
The positive point you really are making is how do we provide a valued "learning progression" of testing that assists the science standards to be formative for the students' benefit.
Scaling scores - Grading on a curve?
posted by: Frank Gardella on 10/3/2011 3:16 pm
In your response, you mentioned 'good districts. What tests are they using?
In June, 2011 for the Living Environments Regents in New York State, a student needed 40 out of 85 to pass the test.
For the Integrated Algebra Regents in June, 2011 in New York State, a student needed 31 out of 87 to pass.
Can we validate that these scores reflect proficiency?
A better question is, "Can we defend the position that these scores reflect proficiency?"
Will the results of the assessments that are now being developed to reflect the CCSS be reported in the same way as the above mentioned Regents? The results of these assessments need to inform us as to the proficiency of individual students.
Use of scale scores
posted by: Howard Dooley on 10/3/2011 10:24 am
However, I disagree with your general statement about scale scores. My understanding is that scale scores allow you to compare "equal" performance across test forms and test levels. A better question to ask is what the "65" does represent. It may very well represent a demonstration of skills that shows grade level proficiency in meeting standards for a student. A percentage score does not do either.
I have used standardized assessments and scale scores for many years with many adult learners, and it is always important - and a struggle - to explain the scores in a way that the student understands what the number "means". But it is a necessary step in any use of standards, in my opinion.
posted by: Gay Stewart on 10/4/2011 10:23 am
I do remember a long time ago beign taught that the best test, that allows the most discrimination, has a mean of 50% and a standard deviation of 25%. I am not sure how this works with multidimensional testing (looking across various items at various levels of critical thinking skills required, as well as different areas of content).
So, I am less concerned with a scaled score than with knowing how the score maps to critical thinking and content. I have reviewed many state tests in the sciences and have been quite concerned. The level of test-development background varies widely, in my experience. No one ever reports out the kind of statistics that would give me the greatest confidence in the items or the instrument.
It is my sincerest wish that with the new standards, we will see a move to national development of assessments that can be tested themselves and demonstrated to represent what we wish to be assessing in our students. As has been said before in this discussion, the assessments are what will drive real change!
Testing theory and the states
posted by: Betsy Becker on 10/5/2011 2:47 pm
Also, most states rely on item response models for their item analysis and psychometric work. Using percent-right scores is quite rare because states need to use historical item pools and extensive item piloting. This is needed because scores must be equated year-to-year and linked across grades. That is very hard to do well using classical test theory. Also when several cutoffs are needed, centering items at the 50% score won't give good reliability for classification.
This is going to be a complex enterprise whether it is done by states, consortia of states, or the nation as a whole.
RE; Testing Theory and the States
posted by: George C. Viebranz, Sr. on 10/6/2011 8:43 am
posted by: William Harper on 10/3/2011 9:22 am
Importance of getting assessment right
posted by: Bill Zoellick on 10/3/2011 1:09 pm
I agree that changing the assessment process is critically important. For most of the teachers who I work with, the question of whether some concept or know-how is on the state assessment is among the most important considerations regarding whether something is worth spending time on or not.
The exciting thing about the Framework is its integration of practices, core ideas, and crosscutting concepts. But, unless we have assessments that look at practices and crosscutting concepts, we will end up with instruction that continues to focus on acquiring content knowledge.
It does not seem likely that states will figure out how to do this different, broader kind of assessment on their own. They will need a good national model. Essentially, we need an assessment framework.
-- Bill Zoellick