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C A L I F O R N I A

Assessment of Student Performance and Progress

California Science Test


Training Items Scoring Guide

2017–18 Administration

Posted November 2017


Prepared by Educational Testing Service ®
CAASPP System

Table of Contents
Guide Content .........................................................................................................................1

Grade Five Sample Items .......................................................................................................3

Grade Eight Sample Items ...................................................................................................15

High School Sample Items...................................................................................................26

– ii –
Guide Content

Guide Content
This California Science Test (CAST) training items scoring guide offers details about the
items, student response types, correct responses, and related scoring considerations for the
included sample of training items. These items have been selected to show some of the new
approaches to measuring the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS) that
can be found in the assessment. The training test items are not fully representative of all
possible item types included in the CAST, but additional samples will be provided over time.
The sample covers a selection of items from grade five, grade eight, and high school. The
various item types are not limited to a particular grade level and could appear for any grade.
The following information is presented along with each item:
• Grade Level: The intended grade level of the item
• Performance Expectations (PE) Code: References the assessable evidence
statements of what students should know and be able to do
• Science and Engineering Practices (SEP): Descriptions of behaviors that scientists
and engineers engage in as they investigate the natural world and design solutions,
respectively
• Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI): Most essential ideas in the major science disciplines
that all students should understand during 13 years of school
• Crosscutting Concepts (CCC): Interdisciplinary skills that unify the study of science
and engineering through common application across fields
• Depth of Knowledge (DOK): A measure of complexity that considers the student’s
cognitive process in response to an item. There are four DOK levels, with 4 being the
highest.
• Item-Level Claim Statement (ILCS): A brief statement that illustrates how an item
aligns to the PE through at least two of the dimensions. An ILCS is included with each
item to help item reviewers (1) identify the intent of the alignment, (2) determine if the
alignment is appropriate and valid, and (3) identify the content reflected in item-level
specifications.
• Item and stimulus: A representation of the item and any associated stimulus
• Answer Key: The expected student response or example response including score
point value
• Rubric and sample student response for each score point for short answer items:
Score point representations for student responses
Each item is aligned to a specific PE but may align through an emphasis or focus on the
different dimensions of the PE (the SEP, DCI, or CCC). Within each dimension and the
overall alignment to the PE, the items may have differing degrees of alignment as well. The
training test samples represent some possible degrees of alignment to the three dimensions
of the PEs.
The items included also represent a range of cognitive approaches to the assessment of the
CA NGSS. However, this sample is not yet fully representative of the full range of item
difficulty.

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Guide Content

The sample items will include numbered instructional text preceding each grade level’s
section of items as well as introductory text for performance tasks. Following are examples of
introductory and instructional text for performance tasks.

The next set of eight items are grade five sample items.

Additional information regarding the California Science Test (CAST) is available on the CDE
California Science Test Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/caasppscience.asp.

In this performance task, you will learn about algae blooms in lakes. You will run tests on the
water samples collected from rivers. Then you will answer seven questions related to algae
blooms.

Each item that follows has a metadata table like the one shown below. The item number in
the table preceding each sample item corresponds to the sequence number of the item as it
appears in the training test.
Example of Metadata Table:

Item Grade PE SEP DCI CCC DOK

LS2.A
2. Developing
4 Interdependent 4. Systems and
5 5-LS2-1 and using 2
Relationships in system models
models
Ecosystems

This item requires students to describe how to complete a model that shows
ILCS:
the exchange of gases and other matter in a lake habitat.

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Grade Five Sample Items

Grade Five Sample Items


The following stimulus accompanies grade five items numbered 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 in the
training test.

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Grade Five Sample Items

Item Grade PE SEP DCI CCC DOK

LS2.A
2. Developing
Interdependent 4. Systems and
4 5 5-LS2-1 and using 2
Relationships in system models
models
Ecosystems

This item requires students to describe how to complete a model that shows
ILCS:
the exchange of gases and other matter in a lake habitat.

Key: D (1 point)

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Grade Five Sample Items

Item Grade PE SEP DCI CCC DOK

LS2.A
2. Developing Interdependent 4. Systems and
5 5 5-LS2-1 2
and using models Relationships in system models
Ecosystems

This item requires students to use a model of energy transfer in an ecosystem


ILCS:
to describe how matter flows among organisms in a lake.

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Grade Five Sample Items

1 point
Exemplar:
“The pyramid shows that zooplankton eat matter in phytoplankton and algae. Insects eat
matter in zooplankton, and fish eat matter in insects.
Rubric:
The student demonstrates full understanding of the Performance Expectation, including
that:

• food of almost any kind of animal can be traced back to plants;


• organisms are related in food webs in which some animals eat the animals that eat
plants;
• some organisms, such as fungi and bacteria, break down dead organisms and
therefore operate as decomposers;
• decomposition eventually restores (recycles) some materials back to the soil;
• organisms can survive only in environments in which their particular needs are met;
• a healthy ecosystem is one in which multiple species of different types are each
able to meet their needs in a relatively stable web of life; OR
• newly introduced species can damage the balance of an ecosystem.

0 points
Exemplar:
“Algae eat fish.” OR student provides off-topic, unclear, or no response.
Rubric:
The student demonstrates little or no understanding of the Performance Expectation.

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Grade Five Sample Items

Item Grade PE SEP DCI CCC DOK

LS2.A
2. Developing
Interdependent 4. Systems and
6 5 5-LS2-1 and using 2
Relationships in system models
models
Ecosystems

This item requires students to use the model of energy transfer to predict
ILCS:
how a change in zooplankton will affect the overall lake ecosystem.

Key: B (1 point)

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Grade Five Sample Items

Item Grade PE SEP DCI CCC DOK

ESS2.A
2. Developing 4. Systems and
7 5 5-ESS2-1 Earth Materials and 2
and using models system models
Systems

This item requires students to develop a model that sequences how excess
ILCS: nutrients in water interact with algae to change the overall lake ecosystem
during an algae bloom.

Key: (shown at right) (1 point)

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Grade Five Sample Items

Item Grade PE SEP DCI CCC DOK

8. Obtaining,
ESS3.C
evaluating, and 4. Systems and
8 5 5-ESS3-1 Human Impacts on 2
communicating system models
Earth Systems
information

This item requires students to evaluate which type of data would be most
ILCS:
useful to monitor lake conditions that could lead to algae blooms.

Key: 1st, 3rd, and 5th options (1 point)

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Grade Five Sample Items

The following text and simulation compose the stimulus that accompanies grade five
items numbered 9 and 10 in the training test.

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Grade Five Sample Items

This section
will be
completed by
the student
within the test
delivery
system.

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Grade Five Sample Items

Item Grade PE SEP DCI CCC DOK

8. Obtaining,
ESS3.C
evaluating, and 4. Systems and
9 5 5-ESS3-1 Human Impacts on 2
communicating system models
Earth Systems
information

This item requires students to evaluate data obtained from a simulation that
ILCS: analyzes nitrogen levels in water samples to determine policy changes that
would be most effective for reducing the likelihood of algae blooms.

Key: 2nd and 3rd options (1 point)

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Grade Five Sample Items

Item Grade PE SEP DCI CCC DOK

8. Obtaining,
ESS3.C
evaluating, and 4. Systems and
10 5 5-ESS3-1 Human Impacts on 2
communicating system models
Earth Systems
information

This item requires students to evaluate data obtained from a simulation that
analyzes nitrogen levels in water samples and a map to explain how water
ILCS:
quality in a lake would change with a change in land use upstream from the
lake.

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Grade Five Sample Items

2 points
Exemplar:
“Nitrogen in water decreases. Populations of fish increase.” OR “Algae bloom shrinks.”
Rubric:
The student demonstrates full understanding of the Performance Expectation, including the
ability to

• obtain and combine information from reliable media to explain phenomena or


solutions to a design problem; AND
• demonstrate an understanding of human activities in agriculture, industry, or
everyday life that have major effects on any one of the following:
o Land
o Vegetation
o Streams
o Oceans
o Air
o Outer space; AND
• demonstrate an understanding of actions individuals OR communities take to help
protect Earth’s resources and environments.

1 point

Exemplar:
Any one of the following: “Nitrogen decreases.” OR “Fish increase.” OR “Less algae.”
Rubric:
The student demonstrates partial understanding of the Performance Expectation.

0 points

Exemplar:
“Nitrogen increases.” OR “Water animals decrease.” OR “Algae increases.” OR student
provides off-topic, unclear, or no response.
Rubric:
The student demonstrates little or no understanding of the Performance Expectation.

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Grade Eight Sample Items

Grade Eight Sample Items


The following stimulus accompanies grade eight items numbered 12 and 13 in the
training test.

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Grade Eight Sample Items

Item Grade PE SEP DCI CCC DOK

2. Developing ESS1.B Earth


12 8 MS-ESS1-1 and using and the Solar 1. Patterns 2
models System

This item requires students to use a model of the Moon’s orbit around
ILCS: Earth to identify the location of the Moon that causes the Sun to appear
as a disk of light during an eclipse.

Functionality: Students can move the Moon between four locations. Umbra and
penumbra are shown for Earth and for the Moon at each selected location.
Key: Location 2 (1 point)

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Grade Eight Sample Items

Item Grade PE SEP DCI CCC DOK

2. Developing
ESS1.B Earth and
13 8 MS-ESS1-1 and using 1. Patterns 3
the Solar System
models

This item requires students to identify a weakness in a model of the Moon’s


ILCS:
orbit around Earth and propose a revision to improve the model.

Key: D (1 point)

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Grade Eight Sample Items

The following stimulus accompanies grade eight items numbered 14 and 15 in the
training test.

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Grade Eight Sample Items

Item Grade PE SEP DCI CCC DOK

3. Scale,
4. Analyzing and PS3.A Definitions
14 8 MS-PS3-1 proportion, and 2
interpreting data of Energy
quantity

This item requires students to analyze data to determine how to graph the
ILCS:
data that best represent the purpose of the investigation.

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Grade Eight Sample Items

Functionality: Students choose the variables for the x-axis and y-axis from a menu for a
graph setup.
Key: x-axis: Speed (m/s); y-axis: Depth (cm) (1 point)

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Grade Eight Sample Items

Item Grade PE SEP DCI CCC DOK

3. Scale,
4. Analyzing and PS3.A Definitions
15 8 MS-PS3-1 proportion, and 2
interpreting data of Energy
quantity

This item requires students to analyze data to determine what relationship is


ILCS:
described by the data.

Key: A (1 point)

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Grade Eight Sample Items

Item Grade PE SEP DCI CCC DOK

LS2.A 2. Cause and


4. Analyzing and Interdependent effect:
16 8 MS-LS2-1 2
interpreting data Relationships in mechanism and
Ecosystems explanation

This item requires students to analyze data to predict changes to three


ILCS:
populations of organisms based on changes to two other populations.

(Item 16 continues on the following page.)

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Grade Eight Sample Items

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Grade Eight Sample Items

Functionality: The student selects either “Increases” or “Decreases” from the drop-down
menu for perch population. The graphs autopopulate for the perch and sea otter
populations. The student completes the table by identifying the impact (Increases,
Decreases, or Remains steady) on the populations of orcas, sea urchins, and kelp.
Exemplar:
If “Increases” is chosen:
The graphs for the “Increases” selection are shown.

Key: The orca population increases, the sea urchin population decreases, and the kelp
population decreases. (1 point)
OR
If “Decreases” is chosen:
The graphs for the “Decreases” selection are shown.

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Grade Eight Sample Items

Key: The orca population decreases, the sea urchin population increases, and the kelp
population decreases. (1 point)

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High School Sample Items

High School Sample Items


Item Grade PE SEP DCI CCC DOK

High 4. Analyzing and LS4.B


19 HS-LS4-3 1. Patterns 2
School interpreting data Natural Selection

This item requires students to analyze inheritable traits between two fruit
ILCS: flies and explain why certain traits are not present within the population of
offspring.

1 point
Exemplar:

• “There are no short-winged flies because long wings are dominant.” OR


• “There are no short-winged flies because short wings are recessive.”
Rubric:
The student demonstrates a full understanding of the Performance Expectation, including
aspects of applying concepts of statistics and probability in the expression of genetic
information. The differential survival and reproduction of organisms in a population that has
an advantageous heritable trait leads to an increase in the proportion of individuals in
future generations that have the trait and to a decrease in the proportion of individuals that
do not.

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High School Sample Items

0 points
Exemplar: “There are no short-winged flies because short-wings is a lethal mutation and
the offspring did not survive.”

Rubric:
The student demonstrates little or no understanding of the Performance Expectation.

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High School Sample Items

The following stimulus accompanies high school items numbered 20 and 21 in the
training test.

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High School Sample Items

Item Grade PE SEP DCI CCC DOK

3. Scale,
High 4. Analyzing and LS3.B
20 HS-LS3-3 proportion, and 2
School interpreting data Variation of Traits
quantity

This item requires students to analyze and interpret the data collected to
ILCS:
provide the percent of offspring that have a particular trait.

Key: 50 (1 point)

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High School Sample Items

Item Grade PE SEP DCI CCC DOK

3. Scale,
High 4. Analyzing and LS3.B
21 HS-LS3-3 proportion, and 2
School interpreting data Variation of Traits
quantity

This item requires students to interpret the results of offspring in a Punnett


ILCS:
square to provide the parental genotypes.

Key: Aa, Aa (1 point)

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High School Sample Items

Item Grade PE SEP DCI CCC DOK

2. Cause and
7. Engaging in
High LS3.B effect:
22 HS-LS3-2 argument from 2
School Variation of Traits mechanism and
evidence
explanation

This item requires students to study the evidence provided in the Punnett
ILCS: square to indicate the correct parental genotypes expected to produce the
offspring shown.

Key: Rr, rr (1 point)

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High School Sample Items

Exemplar: The student may put the Rr genotype in the left box and the rr genotype in the top
box.

OR

The student may put the rr genotype in the left box and the Rr genotype in the top box.

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High School Sample Items

Item Grade PE SEP DCI CCC DOK

6. Constructing
explanations (for 2. Cause and
High science) and LS4.B effect:
23 HS-LS4-2 3
School designing Natural Selection mechanism and
solutions (for explanation
engineering)

This item requires students to understand how particular traits are


ILCS: maintained in a population and to construct an explanation based on the
results of the Punnett square.

2 points
Exemplar:
“Light-bodied flies carry a recessive allele for dark body color, and the offspring
homozygous for the recessive trait appear.”
Rubric:
The student demonstrates a full understanding of the Performance Expectation, including

• aspects of constructing explanations based on evidence obtained from a variety of


sources; AND
• that natural selection occurs only if there is variation in the genetic information
between organisms in a population.

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High School Sample Items

1 point
Exemplar:
“The dark body is recessive.” OR “Homozygous offspring can appear later.”
Rubric:
The student demonstrates a partial understanding of the Performance Expectation.

0 points
Exemplar: “The dark body color is dominant and will appear in the offspring.”
Rubric:
The student demonstrates little or no understanding of the Performance Expectation.

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High School Sample Items

Item Grade PE SEP DCI CCC DOK

4. Analyzing
High and LS4.B
24 HS-LS4-3 1. Patterns 2
School interpreting Natural Selection
data

This item requires students to interpret the data presented in a Punnett


ILCS: square to determine the correct proportions of genotypes shown in a pie
chart.

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High School Sample Items

Functionality: The student chooses line segments inside the circle to create a pie chart
and then places genotype labels on the sections of the pie chart.
Key: The student correctly chooses line segments representing the following percentages
and labels the pie chart:

• One-half (50%) represents Bb.


• One-fourth (25%) represents BB.
• One-fourth (25%) represents bb.
Exemplars: (1 point)

OR

OR any pie graph representing the correct percentages and labeling

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