Dr. David Conley explores the Common Core State Standards and the attendant assessments by state consortia and suggests strategies that will result in the most students being ready for postsecondary educational success. This article appeared in State Educational Standard, a publication of the National Association of State Boards of Education.
See the Innovation Lab Network for examples of states that are going beyond the consortia assessments with additional assessments (http://www.ccsso.org/What_We_Do/Innovation_Lab_Network.html).
See the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Assessment Principles and Practice for an overview of how a combination of assessments, internal and external, can be used to gain greater insight into a wider range of student knowledge and skills (http://www.ibo.org/diploma/assessment/documents/DPAssessmentPrinciplesandPractice.pdf).
Examine the example performance tasks that represent points along the continuum presented in figure 10.1 (Continuum of Assessment for Deeper Learning). Which kind of tasks along the continuum are used in classrooms in your school? What would have to occur for your school to the next type of task on the continuum?
Review your school ’s strategy for preparing for your consortium’s assessment. Is the emphasis on short-term test prep? What role will formative and interim assessment play in guiding instruction and diagnosing student needs?
Review the Raikes Foundation inventory of social-emotional learning assessment tools (http://raikesfoundation.org/Documents/SELTools.pdf).
Help teachers become more assessment literate, particularly in their ability to use and interpret formative assessment information that provides them with insight into student understanding at higher levels of aggregation than individual standards. Are students comprehending the standards at a conceptual level as well as at a content level?
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has shared samples of PARCC items to provide information about the assessment system and support educators as they transition to the Common Core State Standards and the PARCC tests.
A guide from the K–12 Center at ETS that describes and illustrates the assessment designs and related activities launched by the assessment consortia.
For a more policy-oriented perspective on deeper learning assessment, see Assessing Deeper Learning by the Alliance for Excellent Education (http://www.all4ed.org/files/AssessingDeeperLearning.pdf).
Download and review Coming Together to Raise Achievement: New Assessments for the Common Core State Standards (http://www.k12center.org/rsc/pdf/Coming_Together_April_2012_Final.PDF).
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2011 supports standards-based education reform based on the premise that setting high standards and establishing measurable goals can improve individual outcomes in education. The Act requires states to develop assessments in basic skills. To receive federal school funding, states must give these assessments to all students at select grade levels. The Act does not assert a national achievement standard and each individual state develops its own standards. NCLB expanded the federal role in public education through annual testing, annual academic progress, report cards, teacher qualifications, and funding changes.
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