Developing a System for Tracking State Assessment Policies in Science and Mathematics Education
Rolf Blank (PI), University of Chicago
The National Research Council in 2013 released the report Monitoring Progress toward Successful K-12 STEM Education: A Nation Advancing?, which outlined 14 Indicators as well as the needed research and development to create a system to monitor the quality of STEM education in the nation. This project is funded in response to a Dear Colleague Letter request for research in the Promoting Innovation in Measurement and Evaluation program focused on developing research and tools to advance the nation’s capability to measure these indicators. The researchers in this project will address Indicator 12 – States’ use of assessments that measure the core concepts and practices of science and mathematics disciplines. Determining the alignment of state assessments with the core concepts in the current college and career readiness standards adopted by states is a complex process that requires coordination of state policy and assessment practices. This project will design and test an online method and develop a database for tracking and reporting on policies regarding student assessment systems of the 50 states. In addition, the project will develop cross-state criteria for reporting on the content alignment of state assessments to state-adopted standards to improve methodologies for such alignment.
Research activities will be carried out in three phases. In phase one, the project will gather available information about assessment policies of the states and the two national consortia to develop the database of existing policy documents and to structure the online information gathering portal. In the second stage, the researchers will work with expert advisors to refine the online process for expanding the database to make it easily updatable. In the third phase the researchers will work with a subset of state science and mathematics supervisors to test out the collection system. Parallel to the development of the system to report state assessment policies will be the development of frameworks for determining the alignment of state assessments and standards based on the work of the two assessment consortia, state-contracted studies, and the models of state assessments systems recommended by work conducted by the National Research Council science assessment committee.