edCount, LLC, is pleased to announce that the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) has been awarded a three-year grant under the U.S. Department of Education’s Competitive Grants for State Assessments (CGSA) program to develop instructionally embedded science assessments. As the lead state,  the NDE will collaborate with seven other states (Alabama, Alaska, Montana, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina, and Wyoming), five organizations providing technical support (edCount, LLC, the Center for Assessment, the Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Illinois, Chicago, SRI International, and Creative Measurement, LLC), and an external evaluator (Garrett Consulting, LLC).

This collaborative partnership will develop Stackable, Instructionally-embedded, Portable Science assessment tasks (SIPS) that simultaneously address states’ needs for large-scale science assessments and the needs of educators, parents, and students for resources that support science learning throughout the school year. SIPS will develop processes, tools and resources aimed at building state and local educators’ capacity to offer high quality science instruction, evaluate students’ learning, and make appropriate and effective instructional decisions.

SIPS extends and expands upon the work of two current grant-funded projects: the Strengthening Claims-based Interpretations and Uses of Local and Large-scale Science Assessment Scores (SCILLSS) project and the Next Generation Science Assessment (NGSA) project. Drawing on the successes of these two projects, SIPS will develop tasks aligned to three-dimensional science standards that can be administered across, rather than at the end of, the school year. These tasks will be designed to be accessible to all students and will be portable across a range of learning locations.

The SIPS team will develop resources that benefit education agencies both within and outside of the SIPS project. These resources, including curriculum maps, assessment tasks, summary briefs, and annual and culminating reports, will be made publicly available online during the course of the project.

For more information about the SIPS project, please contact Ellen Forte at eforte@edcount.com.