And what about assessments?

The most common follow-up questions during a presentation on the Next Generation Science Standards is … What about the assessments?  The answer is easy — They will have to be different from most assessments we currently have but other than that, no one really knows for sure.

The good news is that the National Academies Board on Science Education (the same group responsible for the development of A Framework for K-12 Science Education) is in the beginning stages of a report which will address the implications of the Framework for future science assessment. The National Academy expects to release this report shortly after the completion of the Next Generation Science Standards.

What we do know is that assessment almost always lags behind standards development by two years: one year for the development of the items and one year for the field testing of the items.  Achieve hopes to have the standards completed by December of 2012.  Assuming Achieve meets this goal, the Department would need to bring the standards before the legislature for approval.  It seems VERY optimistic to think that any assessments aligned to Next Generation Science Standards could be ready by Spring of 2015. Again… no one knows and it is too early for speculation.

The best thing to do is get familiar with the Framework and take some time to provide feedback to the NGSS.  For those of you who are forming groups to provide input, NSTA has developed an NGSS Study Group Guide, complete with agendas and facilitator notes!