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Assessment Challenges and Opportunities Accompanying the New Math and Science Standards: Will We Create Tests Worth Teaching To?

Presenter: James Pellegrino
The Common Core State Standards in mathematics and the Science Standards under development by Achieve based on the NRC Conceptual Framework define a major shift in what we expect students to know and be able to do. Central to both efforts is the concept that knowledge and skill are defined by critical content knowledge and a set of “practices” that reflect forms of reasoning with those core mathematical and scientific ideas. Rather than treating the content and the practices as separate aspects of knowledge for teaching, learning, and assessment, the new standards emphasize their interdependence. Designing assessments that reflect the goals of the new standards will be no small feat, especially in light of the assessments typically used today for both low-stakes and high-stakes purposes. We will consider ways in which high-quality, valid, and instructionally supportive assessments can be developed, using examples from the redesign of AP science courses and exams as well as various STEM R&D projects. Some of the implications for development, implementation, cost, and policy will also be highlighted.

About the Presenter:
James Pellegrino, Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor, Distinguished Professor of Education, Co-director of Learning Sciences Research Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago
James' work is focused on analyses of STEM learning and instructional environments with the goal of better understanding the nature of student learning and the conditions that enhance deep understanding. He also serves on technical advisory committees (TAC) overseeing major state assessment programs, as well as the four consortia of states funded under the Race to the Top assessment initiative (SBAC, PARCC, DLM, and NCSC). Pellegrino has received multiple grants from the NSF and IES for R&D projects focused on STEM education across K–16, including leadership of a major NSF-funded project to redesign Advanced Placement courses and exams in biology, chemistry, environmental science, and physics. He has also headed several National Academy of Science/National Research Council study committees focused on issues of teaching, learning and assessment. Pellegrino chaired the Study Committee on the Foundations of Assessment and currently chairs the Study Committee on Deeper Learning and 21st Century Skills. He was a member of the Study Committee on Test Design for K–12 Science Achievement; the Study Committee on Science Learning: Games, Simulations and Education; and the Study Committee on Conceptual Framework for New Science Education Standards. He is a Fellow of AERA, a past member of the NRC Board on Testing and Assessment, and an elected member of the National Academy of Education. Pellegrino received his BA from Colgate University and PhD in Experimental and Quantitative Psychology from the University of Colorado.