Transforming science assessment: challenges and recommendations for states

Since 2013, 39 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the NGSS or similar standards, signaling a commitment to high-quality and rigorous science education for all students. Any time state content standards undergo such a significant shift, states must develop new assessments to measure student progress toward meeting the new standards. This need presents a number of challenges for state leaders.

• How should limited resources and capacity be allocated to develop assessments that are more complex than previous assessments?
• How can states meet tight deadlines to have new assessments in place?
• Is there a way to ensure that students taking the first generation of new assessments will receive sufficient opportunity to learn to be successful on these tests?

Achieve's new brief explores these and other challenges and presents a set of recommendations for states to consider in tackling them.