• The NGSS identify assessable performance expectations (PEs), or what students should know and be able to do at the end of instruction.
• Each PE represents the integration of three “dimensions” of science education: scientific and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas (DCIs), and crosscutting concepts (CCCs). As such, both student learning and assessment around the NGSS should be “three dimensional”.
• The rubrics/proficiency scales are meant to show what it looks like for students to fully satisfy the PE. Therefore, these rubrics/scales contain the meeting the standard language ONLY for all 3 dimensions of the Middle School NGSS.
• The rubrics/scales were designed to articulate how students can use the practices to demonstrate their understanding of the DCIs through the lens of the CCCs, and thus, demonstrate proficiency on each PE. The rubrics/scales do this by clarifying:
o How the three dimensions could be assessed together, rather than in independent units
o The underlying knowledge required for each DCI
o The detailed approaches to science and engineering practices
o How crosscutting concepts might be used to deepen content- and practice-driven learning
• Given the shift to three dimensional learning, it is important to note that “minimum proficiency” on the NGSS is higher than for most previous standards, and will not look the same.