New science assessment rollouts highlight need for patience, planning in curriculum shifts

As students begin taking new science tests nationwide, teachers who have seen early practice tests are concerned they haven’t covered enough material so their pupils are prepared, Education Week reports.More than 40 states have adopted new science standards, but a number of schools say their students have never taken classes on some of these subjects, nor do they have the resources to hire educators to teach them. Additionally, schools are approaching these subjects in different ways, with some blending the different disciplines together and others teaching each as a separate course.Officials in California, which is among states that adopted new science standards, for example, are bracing for learning and testing gaps over the first couple of years as the new curriculum is implemented. Each change in educational policy, from accountability to curriculum requirements, necessitates adjustments for teachers, administrators and students alike. New standards and the tests that come with them can bring a period where learning is disrupted, and where new curriculum may not dovetail with what was taught the year prior.

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