NGSS Science Task Prescreen

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Grade levels: Professional Development, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Content areas: Assessment, Elementary Ed, Science

Topics: science assessment; NGSS; red flag; prescreen

Type of resource: Assessment

The purpose of the Science Task Prescreen is to conduct a quick review of assessment tasks to determine whether they might be designed for standards based on the Framework for K-12 Science Education, like the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The Prescreen is intended to reveal whether tasks include “red flags”—i.e., challenges commonly found in science assessment tasks. Evaluating tasks using the Prescreen questions can help educators decide whether a task is worth diving into more deeply. Those interested in pursuing a more rigorous evaluation of tasks should use the Science Task Screener; however, the Task Screener assumes a deeper understanding of A Framework for K–12 Science Education and the NGSS. Those who are familiar with the assessment tasks, but not very familiar with the Framework or NGSS, should start with the Prescreen as a bridge to understand the key features of tasks developed for the NGSS and Framework. For those less familiar with the Framework, it will be particularly helpful to use the Prescreen as part of a collaborative professional learning process, to help build a common understanding of the questions and what constitutes as evidence to address them. Because the Prescreen is a quick screening tool as opposed to a comprehensive evaluation tool, the questions in the Prescreen focus on features that are non-negotiable, easily identified, and reflect the most serious “fatal flaws” seen in attempts to develop science tasks. While there are indeed many other critically important features of science assessments, they are excluded here for the purposes of screening, and are addressed in the Task Screener.