EPIC staff can lead workshops for your organization on the topics identified in the book chapters. Please visit the EPIC Workshop and Professional Development Page) to learn more about the services offered and to contact an EPIC representative for further information or scheduling.
Discuss whether you favor a conjunctive or compensatory approach to granting high school diplomas. Should all students have to meet the same standards to earn a diploma, or should some students be able to compensate with strengths in some areas if they fell short in others, assuming they had a strong foundational knowledge base?
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?
The performance tasks of the both consortia include on-demand writing and revision within fixed periods of time. Build on-demand writing activities into in-class assignments to help reduce anxiety or time management issues when students encounter the formal writing tasks on the assessments.
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?
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).
Familiarize yourself with the performance-level descriptors your consortium uses. Once everyone in the school has a shared understanding of the performance levels, begin to determine the likely distribution of students in the school among the performance levels.
Look at the Common Core State Standards across grade levels to become more familiar with how they progress. Notice where prior learnings shape expectations at a subsequent grade level. Examine how well courses in the school take into account prior and subsequent knowledge and skill development.
Determine how familiar teachers in the school are with performance tasks. Many examples of performance tasks can be found online. Appendix B of the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards contains examples at all grade levels, including college and career ready. To foster familiarity, have all teachers in a subject area score a common performance task, and then compare their results.
If the data are available, compare how many students in your school do well on measures that are likely to align with the consortia assessments, such as ACT/SAT and state tests. Assume that student scores on assessment consortia will be lower than these. This can serve as a rough predictor of how students in the school will perform initially at the college and career readiness level on the consortia assessments.
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