The Board of Education in Maryland has manufactured a new online assessment, set to replace the HSA for Biology in high schools around the county. The High School Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (HS MISA) will be implemented in the 2018-2019 school year. The test will be given in January and May of each school year, in the 2019-2020 school year and in the summer. It will become a test mandatory to pass for graduation.
The test is five sessions long and 40 minutes per session. It consists of four units addressing life science, physical science, Earth/space science and Engineering, Technology and Applications of Science. Each session has questions about two separate phenomena, one being a constructed response and the others a combination of selected response, fill-in-the-blank and matching.
Each item on the MISA has a stimulus that focuses on real world context. The items tested fabricates a storyline that assesses chosen performance expectations. This requires students to use their understanding of science to make sense of the information provided to them.
Developed by the MSDE Science and Assessment Office staff and distributed by Pearson, the MISA will allow each school system to “administer it in a manner which will have the least amount of disruption to the school day,” according to the Maryland State Department of Education.
Freshman Paulina Matzkin shared that she didn’t want to take the test.
“I wish [MCPS] wouldn’t change to the MISA because all my teachers have been saying that it’s really hard and hard to pass. It kind of scares me to take it,” Matzkin said.
Freshman Daniel Ticktin had the opportunity of taking the MISA last year at North Bethesda Middle School as part of a field test.
“It was a lot like the Parcc test. But everyone was a little bit scared because they didn’t really know what to expect before taking it. It wasn’t too difficult but some of the reading questions were quite hard,” Ticktin said.