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Draft Assessment Tasks Seek Blend of Math, Science Learning

The organizers of the Next Generation Science Standards initiative have released a set of draft sample assessment tasks to help teachers gauge how well students are learning the new science expectations along with the common-core expectations in mathematics.

Designed by middle and high school math and science teachers, the tasks were designed to illustrate ways that teachers can assess both the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core State Standards in math in their classrooms as they teach. They were released Nov. 18 by Achieve, which organized the NGSS initiative.

Achieve is encouraging teachers to use the tasks, modify them to suit their needs, and offer feedback on any needed revisions. The organization plans to release final versions of the tasks, along with draft assessment tasks for elementary school teachers, in the months ahead.

Statements from teachers, published by Achieve, show that a key aim in developing the sample assessment tasks was to show a shift in emphasis brought about by the new math and science standards.

Ben Twietmeyer, a chemistry teacher from Illinois, said teachers are "moving from primarily only teaching science content to developing students' knowledge and science skills. Focusing on evidence-based explanations and application, these tasks pull together the big ideas of the NGSS and common-core math standards."

Math and science teachers worked together to write the tasks.

Twelve states and the District of Columbia have adopted the science standards.

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