[KACT] science assessment test bank

  • From: "Janice Crowley" <jpcrowley@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <kact@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2007 10:04:25 -0600

Thank you Kelly for getting this test bank going for teachers.  I think this is 
a very proactive positive help to everyone.  I did have a department chair from 
another school caution me about not raising the bar too high for the first test 
the students take since everything will be compared from that point.  The 
analysis of the schools is how they keep improving.  So the first test the 
students take will be that school's benchmark of comparison.  Something to 
think about.  So I suggest that you keep the test bank going and then on round 
two of your students taking the science assessments make sure your students 
have been exposed to as many questions from the test bank as possible.
I was on the Kansas State Science Assessments Committee and most of our 
committee recommending students taking the ACT as their science assessment.  
This really made sense since the ACT Science is not designed for students to 
regurgitate facts, but for them to be able to interpret experimental designs 
and extrapolate information from graphs and critically think through two 
opposing scientific points of view and be able to answer comprehension 
questions.  This type of assessment matches what NSF says about our students 
needing to be critical thinkers and understand the process of science by doing. 
 It does not mean to ignore teaching of science facts in class, but given the 
volume of scientific facts a child can learn in high school - expecting them to 
vomit back information is really a fairly low level expectation.  At the time 
the committee worked on these standards there was much turmoil on the Kansas 
State School Board at the time which meant they were trying to serve a separate 
agenda and not help us to work through what would be best for the students in 
the state of Kansas.  So until that changes, the teachers on the committee 
tried to stick with the National Science Standards and figure ways to make the 
questions higher level thinking.  This test bank will help with the current 
science assessments.

Happy Holidays,

Janice Crowley

Happy Holidays.

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