New Meridian Science Director Chris Lazzaro will discuss how to manage science assessment in today’s challenging environment at the National Science Teaching Association’s NSTA Engage Spring21 virtual conference in May.

“The presentation will focus on the challenges of reimagining science assessment for Next Generation Science Standards. We will cover how to develop assessments that meet the needs of classroom teachers and can still be used on statewide summative tests. We’ll pay particular attention to how large-scale summative assessments can be more culturally responsive to a wider range of students.”

Chris Lazzaro, sceince director at New Meridian

Lazzaro, who holds a Ph.D. in science and education policy, has worked in science education for more than 15 years, starting as a high school physics teacher in New York City. He later spent more than a decade at the College Board, where he worked on projects that included redesigning the AP Science exam and creating the Science College Board Standards for College Success.

At New Meridian, Lazzaro and his team focus on creating innovative science assessment products. The New Meridian Science Exchange, for example, provides states with cost-effective access to high-quality assessment items that are aligned to new three-dimensional state science standards, such as the Next Generation Science Standards. States can draw from a curated bank of test items to create assessments or contribute items to produce licensing revenue.

More recently, they released a free universal framework that states can use to review and evaluate test items for science assessments. The New Meridian Framework for Quality Review of NGSS Science Assessment Items, based on well-known industry research, walks states through how to evaluate science assessment content, placing emphasis on items that promote equity and inclusion.

Lazzaro recently discussed how states can improve science assessment in a webinar on The Unique Challenges of Science Education in a Post-Pandemic World, which drew almost 600 educators. His talk at the NSTA conference will elaborate on practical strategies that states can adopt.

“Much of the focus of my presentation will be on the framework that we have developed, and how the Science Exchange is using it to create test items that are more sensitive to a wide range of students,” he said.

Lazzaro will speak at the NSTA conference May 3 at 5:30 p.m. EST. To register for the conference, which takes place April 12 to May 5, visit the NSTA registration page.

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