Proficiency in Science: Assessment Challenges and Opportunities
As part of a Science magazine special issue on grand challenges in science education, the author provides an overview of the promise for the future of science learning with the release of the NGSS, and of the challenges associated with achieving the full vision of the NGSS. The paper focuses on the implications of assessment on instruction, noting that what states and schools choose to assess often dictates what will be included in instruction. Overviews of the National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education, the NGSS, and different approaches to measuring proficiency in science are included. Challenges in designing assessments to measure proficiency in science, and examples of existing projects attempting to assess science through the integration of conceptual knowledge with aspects of science practices, are explored.