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ISMART: Assessing Science Knowledge & Skills for Struggling Students

Woman working with one of the I-SMART maps

Project Title
Innovations in Science Map, Assessment, and Report Technologies (ISMART)

Project Website

Project Description

The goal of the ISMART project is to develop rigorous, universally designed science assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities and any students who are not meeting grade-level standards. The assessments are being designed for both summative and formative purposes. The project includes five states and will encompass 4,500 students and their teachers.

Using an iterative design process with input from stakeholder organizations, CAST is leading the design of a reporting dashboard to provide feedback on individual student performance on the new assessments together with the dynamic learning maps from which the assessments were developed. Using information from the learning maps and connections with other content areas, the dashboard will include recommendations for instruction to facilitate appropriate interpretations and uses of assessment results. The dashboard will also support teacher communication with students and stakeholders such as parents and guardians.


2017 – 2021


Competitive Grants for State Assessments (formerly Enhanced Assessment Grants), U.S. Department of Education


Maryland State Department of Education
Kansas University ATLAS team
BYC Consulting

Project Leadership

Michael Plummer, Maryland State Department of Education
Meagan Karvonen, Russell Swinburne Romine & Gail Tiemann, University of Kansas
Jose Blackorby & Bob Dolan, CAST


For questions and other inquiries about this project, please contact Bob Dolan.

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