- Associated Press - Monday, May 9, 2016

BEND, Ore. (AP) - Oregon schools will begin teaching new science standards and plans to introduce new a new science test in 2018.

Oregon has begun phasing in the new Next Generation Science Standards, which are used by 18 states and emphasize hands-on learning and concepts such as cause and effect or stability and change, The Bulletin of Bend reported (https://is.gd/BqTTGj).

The new standards, which replace Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, were adopted in 2014. Officials say it’s too soon to tell what the tests will look like, but that the standards move away from memorization.

“Because there is the expectation of higher-level thinking skills and the opportunity for students to demonstrate what they know, we would expect that the test would be more than a straight multiple-choice test, which is what we have now,” said Derek Brown, director of assessment at the Oregon Department of Education, of moving tot eh Smarter Balanced tests.

Federal law requires schools test students in science at least once in third through fifth grade, once in sixth through ninth grade and once in 10th through 12th grade. That will continue under the new federal education law.

The science standards pair with the state’s Smarter Balanced tests for English language arts and math, which debuted last year. Previously, schools used the old test for science.

Oregon Department of Education officials said the delay between the new standards and introducing the test is typical. Brown said the new science standards have not faced as much pushback as Common Core, but with Common Core the conversation shifted to the negative as schools came closer to handing out an assessment.

Though students are still taking the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge tests, Pacific Crest Middle School science teacher Sara Trakselis, of Bend, said she won’t focus on the results. Instead she has been developing tests for the new standards, where students must interpret data, investigate patterns, create models and find explanations.

“They’re harder to write and they’re harder to grade, but they’re better for the kids,” she said.

___

Information from: The Bulletin, https://www.bendbulletin.com

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide