development of the technical skills to assess opportunity to learn among science education professionals, including teachers, supervisors, administrators, and curriculum developers.

[See Program Standard E and System Standard E]

EQUAL ATTENTION MUST BE GIVEN TO THE ASSESSMENT OF OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN AND TO THE ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT. Students cannot be held accountable for achievement unless they are given adequate opportunity to learn science. Therefore, achievement and opportunity to learn science must be assessed equally.

Assessment Standard C

The technical quality of the data collected is well matched to the decisions and actions taken on the basis of their interpretation.

  • The feature that is claimed to be measured is actually measured.

  • Assessment tasks are authentic.

  • An individual student's performance is similar on two or more tasks that claim to measure the same aspect of student achievement.

  • Students have adequate opportunity to demonstrate their achievements.

  • Assessment tasks and methods of presenting them provide data that are sufficiently stable to lead to the same decisions if used at different times.

Standard C addresses the degree to which the data collected warrant the decisions and actions that will be based on them. The quality of the decisions and the appropriateness of resulting action are limited by the quality of the data. The more serious the consequences for students or teachers, the greater confidence those making the decisions must have in the technical quality of the data. Confidence is gauged by the quality of the assessment process and the consistency of the measurement over alternative assessment processes. Judgments about confidence are based on several different indicators, some of which are discussed below.

THE FEATURE THAT IS CLAIMED TO BE MEASURED IS ACTUALLY MEASURED. The content and form of an assessment task must be congruent with what is supposed to be measured. This is "validity." For instance, if an assessment claims to measure students' ability to frame questions for conducting scientific inquiry and to design an inquiry to address the questions, a short-answer format would not be an appropriate task. Requiring students to pose questions and design inquiries to address them would be an appropriate task. However, if the purpose of

The content and form of an assessment task must be congruent with what is supposed to be measured.

an assessment task is to measure students' knowledge of the characteristics that distinguish groups of minerals, a multiple-choice format might be suitable as well as efficient.

ASSESSMENT TASKS ARE AUTHENTIC. When students are engaged in assessment tasks that are similar in form to tasks in which they will engage in their lives outside the classroom or are similar to the activities of scientists, great confidence can be attached to the data collected. Such assessment tasks are authentic.

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