SIPS Assessment Model 


The SIPS team is collaborating with state partners and local educators to build Stackable, Instructionally-embedded, Portable science (SIPS) assessment tasks to address simultaneously states’ needs for large-scale assessments and the needs of educators, parents, and students for resources that support science learning throughout the school year. This innovative, through-course model for assessment includes assessment tasks that are part of the curriculum and connect naturally with formative assessment strategies in standards-based and competency-based instructional models. 

Stackable science assessments are modular. They can be administered throughout the school year, on a flexible schedule at the classroom level and during state- or district-determined testing windows, or in particular patterns that best support their instructional and assessment purposes. There is no need for students and their teachers to stop teaching to prepare for and take tests at the end of every school year.

Instructionally-embedded science tasks are grounded in learning and yield evidence about what students know and can do when they have had an opportunity to learn what the tasks measure. They offer a leveled playing field not possible with traditional large-scale assessments.

Portable assessments do not rely on a single set of standardized circumstances for administration. If students can convene in physical classrooms, the tasks can be administered there. If students are working from their homes, as may be necessary from time to time in the years ahead, the tasks can be administered there. Test security is not an issue because the tasks are performance-based, designed to be “open-book,” evaluated using a set of rubrics completed by multiple reviewers, and embedded in instructional resources that include student- and parent-facing supports.