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Northwest Evaluation Association Introduces State-Standards-Aligned Science Tests

Posted Dec 21, 2005
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Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) has announced the availability of a K-12 education assessment aligned to state science standards. Designed for use at the state, district, or building level, the computerized adaptive test measures academic growth for knowledge of general science content as well as the underlying concepts and processes.

"As many states revise and implement new science standards in advance of the 2007-2008 NCLB accountability provision, districts will need to evaluate whether their current curricula and instructional plans are on target to ensure that their students will achieve proficiency," said Fred McDaniel, NWEA Operations Vice President. "We designed the science tests to meet those needs and to offer educators a comprehensive picture of each student's growth in the full realm of science."

The test combines two modules, General Science and Concepts and Processes. The General Science portion assesses a student's understanding of specific science concepts within three major domains: life, earth and space, and physical sciences. The Concepts and Processes module measures a student's performance in both the processes used in science and the major themes underlying the science disciplines.

Both modules provide reports that tie directly to an individual state's standards. Together, the modules provide a complete picture of a student's understanding of science content and the unifying concepts and processes underlying this content, according to the announcement. Additionally, goal-area scores provide further insight into a student's instructional level for strands within a state's standards.

The upgraded test is part of NWEA's Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) system, which includes reading, language usage, and mathematics assessments. As with all tests in the MAP system, the science test is linked to automatically generated reports that help teachers target instruction as needed, and help administrators track student progress toward standards.

In addition to the combined science test, NWEA offers end-of-course science tests for high school in topics such as physical science, biology, chemistry, and physics; however, these tests are administered only after a year of instruction in the content area.

Source: Northwest Evaluation Association,

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