CCSS News Curated by Core2Class
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CCSS News Curated by Core2Class
Helping teachers complement, support and extend curriculum based on the CCSS to improve student learning outcomes for all students.
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States Examine Cost, Quality of Common Core Assessments

States Examine Cost, Quality of Common Core Assessments | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

“What gets tested is what gets taught,” said Joan Herman, co-director emeritus of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing at UCLA. “To the extent that the assessments well represent the spirit and meaning of the standards, the spirit and meaning of the standards will get taught. Where the assessments fall short, curriculum, instruction and teaching will likely fall short as well.”

Deb Gardner's insight:

SPOT ON, Ms. Herman! 

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Helmsley Charitable Trust Makes $1.6 Million in Grants to PARCC and Smarter Balanced Consortia to Engage Leading U.S. Teachers' Unions in the Development of Next-Generation Student Assessments

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust today announced two grants totaling more than $1.6 million to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) to engage the nation's two largest teachers' unions in the development and implementation of Common Core State Standards-aligned end-of-year testing for K-12 students across most of the nation. These grants fund the first formal partnerships between the two common assessment consortia and the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which together represent the majority of the U.S. teaching workforce.  In addition, this initiative further deepens the critical participation of teachers in the design and rollout of the new, higher standards that have been designed to improve college and career readiness among American students.

 

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Core2Class: Kudos to Mr. Churchill...

Core2Class: Kudos to Mr. Churchill... | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Aaron Churchill from Fordham that is.  He writes a great piece citing an example of a West Virginia state test item as evidence of why CCSS and PARCC/Smarter Balanced has such potential to change the way we teach writing.  Worth a read!

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Core2Class: If Not PARCC or Smarter Balanced, Then What?

Core2Class: If Not PARCC or Smarter Balanced, Then What? | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Would those in the state who are so quick to criticize the Common Core help me to understand how we handle the question of the state test?  What alternatives exist if we decide not to go with one of the two consortia assessments?  While the Indiana standards framework adopted in 2010 would be fine to readopt, taking this route would force us to either stick with ISTEP+ or design a new, more rigorous standards-aligned assessment.  The former seems hard to imagine in light of the feds' stipulation that all states adopt an assessment framework commensurate with the rigor evidenced in the consortia assessments.  ISTEP+ simply wouldn't measure up.  The latter seems to hard to fathom in the light of the costs inherent in designing a new state assessment.

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Field Test | Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

Field Test | Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

The Smarter Balanced Field Test will take place from March 18 – June 6, 2014. The Field Test is a trial run of the assessment system that helps ensure the assessments are valid, reliable, and fair for all students. It also gives teachers and schools a chance to gauge their readiness in advance of the first operational assessment in spring 2015. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

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The State of the Common Core

The State of the Common Core | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Millions of teachers and thousands of districts in 45 states are currently undergoing a sea change in the way that they teach and assess students. The new Common Core Standards for learning have been phased into states and districts since 2010, and the digitized Common Core Assessments are scheduled to deploy in states that have adopted them as early as the 2014-2015 school year.

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Smarter Balanced Adopts Accessibility Rules for Common-Core Tests

Smarter Balanced Adopts Accessibility Rules for Common-Core Tests | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
The 25-state group decided that read-aloud accommodations for text passages will be limited, for now, to students in middle and high school.
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Tests Linked to Common Core in Critics' Cross Hairs

Tests Linked to Common Core in Critics' Cross Hairs | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
Opponents of the Common Core State Standards take aim at assessments aligned to the standards, seeing them as a weak link that may slow the common core's momentum.


Without common assessments to assess students on the standards and compare states’ performance, the common core will enter “no-man’s land,” said Jim Stergios, the executive director of the Boston-based Pioneer Institute, which opposes the new standards and has been helping state-level political groups advocate against them.

Deb Gardner's insight:

I guess the critics came to the conclusion that if they can't beat Common Core head on on a frontal attack, it might be possible to flank 'em in a defeat of the common assessment.


Doesn't the lack of a common assessment among states take away from one of the advantages of moving toward common standards? 

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Common-Core Online Practice Tests Unveiled

Common-Core Online Practice Tests Unveiled | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
A group designing tests to go with the common-core online assessments has released practice tests for students, teachers, and parents.
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Developing Assessments of Deeper Learning: The Costs and Benefits of Using Tests that Help Students Learn

Developing Assessments of Deeper Learning: The Costs and Benefits of Using Tests that Help Students Learn | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

In this report, Linda Darling-Hammond and Frank Adamson argue that the resources that are currently spent on student testing could support much higher quality assessments, including performance tasks that include critical thinking and problem solving skills. To do this, states and districts will need to implement a combination of:


  • Cost savings, such as the economies of scale enabled by state consortia, online delivery, and efficient scoring of open-ended tasks by teachers and computers.
  • Strategic reallocation of resources that are currently used for state and local testing in fragmented ways and that are not focused on improved assessment quality.
  • Use of professional learning time and incentives to support teacher engagement in assessment scoring, development, and use, which provides the double benefit of improved instruction and more efficient use of resources.
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CRESST and Smarter Balanced Agree to Form Partnership

CRESST and Smarter Balanced Agree to Form Partnership | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

On Wednesday, March 20th, the Chief State School Officers from the governing states of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) unanimously approved a motion to authorize Smarter Balanced leadership to begin negotiations toward establishing an affiliation with UCLA’s National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST). The Center is part of UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. 

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The Smarter Balanced test makes good sense for New Hampshire

The Smarter Balanced test makes good sense for New Hampshire | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Some large Republican states are writing their own tests, but that kind of inside baseball does not matter to New Hampshire.


Common Core opponents have made much of the fact that some large states have chosen to write their own Common Core tests rather than participate in Smarter Balanced or the other national testing consortium, PARCC.  When you look at the states involved, two things stand out.  Every one of them has a Republican governor and Republican-controlled legislature.  These folks are making a political statement, not an educational statement.  And they are all from large states that can afford the luxury of writing their own tests, the quality of which is yet to be determined.

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Common Core Headlines You Probably Won't See in 2014 (and the most widely read ones from 2013)

Common Core Headlines You Probably Won't See in 2014 (and the most widely read ones from 2013) | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

It was another eventful year for the common core. Brushfires popped up in a number of states as lawmakers—and parents—raised objections. The standards themselves were occasionally the target of attack, but more often it was the assessments being designed by PARCC and Smarter Balanced. The most-viewed blog posts of 2013 in Curriculum Matters reflect that focus on testing. 

Deb Gardner's insight:

The Top Ten Spoof is funny but says plenty about the issues we read about in 2013.  

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Shanahan on Literacy: Are the SBAC and PARCC Technology Requirements Fair?

Shanahan on Literacy: Are the SBAC and PARCC Technology Requirements Fair? | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

It seems the test is automatically biased towards wealthier schools with more technology, technology teachers, and parents that buy technology for the children as "toys". How can we be sure that PARCC is assessing their reading and math, not their technology skills? Also, how can we help prepare our students for the types of technology skills they will be required to perform with PARCC?

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Report urges Michigan to replace MEAP with Smarter Balanced test

Report urges Michigan to replace MEAP with Smarter Balanced test | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
A new report urges state lawmakers to proceed with plans to introduce the Smarter Balanced exam as a replacement for the Michigan Educational Assessment Program, saying it remains the only viable option for the 2014-15 school year.
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Study: State defections from Common Core testing consortia won’t greatly affect costs

Study: State defections from Common Core testing consortia won’t greatly affect costs | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

When Florida decided last month to withdraw from a consortium of states that is writing tests for the new Common Core academic standards in math and reading, it sent a ripple of concern through the remaining states.

 

Florida’s departure from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) came after two other states, Oklahoma and Georgia, decided to stay loosely connected to the consortium but not participate in its tests.

 

The loss of those three states means the fixed costs of creating new tests will be spread over fewer students, raising testing costs for the remaining states.

 

A study released Wednesday by Matthew M. Chingos at the Brookings Institution found that defections from the testing consortia will not significantly affect costs for remaining members.

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Update on the PARCC and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia


Via Darren Burris
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Getting Your School Tech Ready for Common Core Assessments -- THE Journal

Getting Your School Tech Ready for Common Core Assessments -- THE Journal | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
Schools have about 15 months to prepare for the online assessments that reflect the learning goals of the Common Core State Standards. Some districts already know what the transition will be like.


That's an alluring benefit for technology leaders in states that are participating in the online assessments: By adhering to that 2014-2015 online testing deadline, all of those schools will presumably be better outfitted for digitally supported instructional practices.

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Common Core Online Tests to Pose Tech. Challenge for Rural Schools

Common Core Online Tests to Pose Tech. Challenge for Rural Schools | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

The Common Core State Standards eventually will require students to take standardized tests online, and that will pose a problem for many schools, especially those in rural areas.


Why? Rural schools often lack the technology and broadband capabilities of their counterparts in more populated areas.


The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by 45 states, and two groups of states—thePartnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium— are developing tests.


Both groups say they are committed to helping states transition to computer testing, and they have developed a Technology Readiness Tool to help states identify infrastructure gaps and plan for future needs.

Deb Gardner's insight:

What's much more troubling than the realization that rural schools may not have technology resources to adequately be tested is that they don't have the technology resources for their students to optimize learning.


Adequate bandwidth and devices to hit the Internet go a long way in giving students a much deeper, rigorous and individualized learning experience particularly when the Common Core are implemented.


And I'm not talking about a school's 1:1 iPad deployment.  A pod of 5 Chromebooks (at $250/device), an adequate Internet connection and a tech savvy, well planned teacher in every classroom will go a long way. #notkidding

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States Can Afford Better Tests by Restructuring Costs, Study Says

States Can Afford Better Tests by Restructuring Costs, Study Says | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
States can make better assessments possible by shifting testing dollars and using technology and teachers to score tests, says a new report.
Deb Gardner's insight:

Although PARCC has not recently updated their cost per student estimate, SBAC has.  Original estimates were $19.81 per student with formative/diagnostic at $7.50 per student.  The revised estimate is projected to be $22 per student for summative and $5 for summative tests that include interim/formative tools.

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