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State Science Assessment

State Science Assessment Details - Forward Exam

The state's new Forward Exam in science began in spring of 2019. The 4th grade exam has contexts aligning to the new Wisconsin Standards for Science (WSS) at 4th grade and the NGSS 4th grade standards (pg. 22-26). The 8th grade exam aligns to the topics of the 6th through 8th grade WSS as well as the NGSS (pg. 33-63). These contexts include engineering design standards and engineering and society standards (ETS1 and ETS2), as found in the WSS and NGSS. Notably, the tests focus on content understanding linked to work with science and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts as detailed in the WSS and the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education. Test items are DOK 2 or 3; there will arguably be no DOK 1 items on these exams.

The Forward Exam Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs) give a good sense of the types of skills and understanding students will need at each performance level: 

The High School state assessment will continue to be the ACT

The Forward Exam data is reported out on new categories based on the Wisconsin Standards for Science and reflective of the three dimensions detailed in the NRC Framework and NGSS: disciplinary core ideas (content), science and engineering practices (ways of doing science), and crosscutting concepts (ways of thinking). These reporting categories will focus on three-dimensional sense-making across the four main disciplines of the WSS: 

  • Students can use science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and life science content understanding to make sense of phenomena and solve problems. 
  • Students can use science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and physical sciences content understanding to make sense of phenomena and solve problems.
  • Students can use science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and earth and space sciences content understanding to make sense of phenomena and solve problems.
  • Students can use an understanding of engineering design and the connections of engineering, technology, and applications of science in society to make sense of phenomena and solve problems.

Forward Exam Resources

ACT and ACT Aspire Science Exam Resources

 

For questions about this information, contact Kevin Anderson (608) 266-3319