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ideas associated with some natural phenomenon. In the second instance, the student generates scientific information based on data. In either case, the quality of the reasoning can be inferred from how well connected the chain of reasoning is, how explicit the student is about the assumptions made, and the extent to which speculations on the implications of having made alternative assumptions are made.
The writing and speaking requirements of this extended investigation provide ample evidence for assessing the ability of the student to communicate scientific ideas.
The National Science Education Standards envision change throughout the system. The assessment standards encompass the following changes in emphases:
LESS EMPHASIS ON
MORE EMPHASIS ON
Assessing what is easily measured
Assessing what is most highly valued
Assessing discrete knowledge
Assessing rich, well-structured knowledge
Assessing scientific knowledge
Assessing scientific understanding and reasoning
Assessing to learn what students do not know
Assessing to learn what students do understand
Assessing only achievement
Assessing achievement and opportunity to learn
End of term assessments by teachers
Students engaged in ongoing assessment of their work and that of others
Development of external assessments by measurement experts alone
Teachers involved in the development of external assessments
Marking the culmination of a three-year, multiphase process, on April 10th, 2013, a 26-state consortium released the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a detailed description of the key scientific ideas and practices that all students should learn by the time they graduate from high school.