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Tenth graders at MC2 STEM High School fit together their capstone project, which combines art and engineering.
Photo by EDUimages (CC BY-NC 4.0)


The publications and presentations below include a selection of research on science performance assessment and performance-based learning that can be used to understand the research base that underpins our work and the research that we are doing on our curricula and assessments.

Selected SCALE Publications

  1. Learning Through Performance Project-Based Learning as a Lever for Engaging the Next-Generation Science Standards (project report)
  2. Project-Based Learning Leads to Gains in Science and Other Subjects in Middle School and Benefits All Learners
  3. How to Design a Performance Task (Science Scope)
  4. The new NGSS classroom: A curriculum framework for Project-Based Science Learning (American Educator)
  5. Evaluating Item Quality in Large-Scale Assessments, Phase I Report of the Study of State Assessment Systems (SCALE Report)
  6. An Analysis of Existing Science Assessments and the Implications for Developing Assessments for NGSS (SCALE Report)
  7. A system of assessments for NGSS science in California: A discussion document (SCALE Report)
  8. Supporting Coherence Across a System of Assessment for NGSS (AERA Annual Meeting)
  9. Reconceptualizing Alignment for NGSS Assessments (NARST Annual Meeting)

Some publications that inform our work

  1. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. English Learners in STEM Subjects: Transforming Classrooms, Schools, and Lives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
  2. Schweingruber, H., Beatty, A., & National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2017). Seeing students learn science: Integrating assessment and instruction in the classroom. National Academies Press.
  3. Darling-Hammond, L., & Adamson, F. (2010). Beyond basic skills: The role of performance assessment in achieving 21st century standards of learning. Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education.


Schultz, S., Jamshidi, A., Holthuis, N, Deutscher, R., and Stoll, L. (2018)  NGSS Curriculum and Performance Assessments: Mechanisms for Classroom Change and Student Learning.  Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Atlanta, 2018

Daro, V., Holthuis N., Martin, D., Renner, N., (2017).  Developing Design Principles for Improving State Assessment Items to Support More Valid and Equitable Measurement.  Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Antonio, April, 2017.

Holthuis, N., and Schultz, S. (2016). The Promise and Challenge of Eliciting and Measuring Evidence of Three-Dimensional Learning.  Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Chicago, 2016


You can find publications presentations by the Stanford NGSS Assessment Project here.