BOX 4-1
Assessment-Related Information in the Rhode Island Science Standards

Here is an example of a state science standard that includes examples of classroom work and assignments that might be suitable. Performance expectations are suggested, and each standard includes an “embedded assessment” and a summative assessment.

By the end of the eighth grade, all students will know that the sun is a mediumsized star located near the edge of a disk-shaped galaxy (Milky Way) of stars, part of which can be seen as a glowing band of light that spans the sky on a very clear night. The universe contains many billions of galaxies, and each galaxy contains many billions of stars. To the naked eye, even the closest of these galaxies is no more than a dim, fuzzy spot.

Suggested Activity: Visit planetarium, contact NASA for computer program, pictures, etc. Help students locate the Milky Way and prominent galaxies in the night sky.

Embedded Assessment: Look at photographs, identify the differences between a galaxy and a star.

Summative Assessment: Using a diagram of our own galaxy and the approximate position of our solar system, explain the phenomenon known as the Milky Way.

Theme: Systems

Process: Developing Explanatory Frameworks

NASA Space Grant Program Center located at Brown University (863-2889) has celestial maps and other resources available for teachers.


teachers, assessment developers, students, parents, and policy makers—what students are expected to know and be able to do. In other words, they must be elaborated.

Other Evaluations of State Science Standards

Besides conducting our own examination of sample science standards, the committee relied on two comprehensive reviews by other groups that provide a good starting point for thinking about the features of high-quality standards. The reviews were conducted by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the Fordham Foundation; each used its own criteria for making judgments about the

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