Research Monograph


Alignment of Science and Mathematics Standards and Assessments in Four States

Norman L. Webb

Summary Report

Establishing alignment of standards and assessments alone is not enough for attaining the full impact of standards-based reform, but it is an early indicator that helps assure a state’s standards and assessments will reach their full potential. Establishing the degree to which assessments are aligned with standards is not easy. This analysis demonstrates one process for quantifying the alignment between standards and assessments, using specific criteria. It summarizes the findings from an alignment analysis of the standards and assessments from four states conducted with the participation of experts in science and mathematics education as reviewers. Four companion reports, one for each state, describe in more detail the analysis and findings from this study. Along with determining the alignment of state standards and assessments, a second important purpose of the study was to refine the process for analyzing alignment. Each of the four states volunteered to have their standards and assessments analyzed for two or three grade levels in mathematics and in science. Throughout this document and the four companion reports, the states are identified as State A, State B, State C, and State D to protect their identity.

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National Institute for Science Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Last Updated:  May 05, 2003