With the implementation of the Essential Standards in Science this school year and the approach of the Next Generation Science Standards, NGSS, when adopted in 2013, you may be questioning what science testing is required currently. Information from two areas of the Department of Public Instruction clarifies accountability testing and use of the new Measures of Student Learning assessments.
Dr. Tammy Howard, Director of Accountability Operations in the Accountability Services Division at DPI is eager for our members to have the test specifications for science assessments. New state tests based on the Essential Standards in Science will be administered in the 2012-13 school year. Charts from DPI for grades 5, 8, and High School science tests have weight distribution identified for each standard as well as information about rigor, type of items, and delivery mode that are publicized at the following: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/acre/assessment/science.pdf
The Educator Effectiveness Division at DPI, under the leadership of Dr. Rebecca Garland, and Dr. Lynne Johnson are tasked with developing measures of teacher and administrator performance. One set of tools to aid in this evaluation is Measures of Student Learning, MSL. Districts will be able to measure student growth in areas not currently assessed by State EOG, EOC, or CTE assessments. The goal of these assessments is to capture the knowledge and skills of students in an authentic way. They are not part of the school accountability model and will not be published. Districts will determine specifics about use of MSL as one part of the evaluation process of teachers. The implementation timeline can be viewed at the following: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/educatoreffect/measures/msl-timeline.pdf