Along with Kentucky, Washington, DC was one of the first school systems to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards and then move to create a new test to measure those standards.
Unlike Kentucky, which has delayed its implementation of new science tests due to various challenges, students in DC began taking their new science tests two years ago and might be the first school system that did that.
But, being first can be a problem. Education Week now reports that the District of Columbia schools will invalidate two years of its new generation science tests after “serious errors” surfaced. The school system has cancelled its testing contract with the prime contractor for the assessments, WestEd, and there is even speculation that the district might file a lawsuit over the fiasco.
Per EdWeek, some major issues involve, “’psychometric services’—making sure that the test meets validity and reliability standards and is fair for different groups of students.” Those are major concerns, especially when testing involves new areas that don’t have much precedent to guide test creators.
So, it’s back to the drawing boards for a new science test in DC.
Meanwhile, here in Kentucky we have yet to see any results from our pending replacement science test. Based on the problems now surfaced in DC, our educators need to proceed with considerable caution.