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CCSS News Curated by Core2Class
Helping teachers complement, support and extend curriculum based on the CCSS to improve educational outcomes for all students.
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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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SBAC Portal

SBAC Portal | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Practice tests available!

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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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SBAC Practice Calculators

SBAC Practice Calculators | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
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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 State Standards

Common Core State Standards | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) - needs for online assessments
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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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Common-Assessment Groups to Undergo New Federal Review Process

Common-Assessment Groups to Undergo New Federal Review Process | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

The U.S. Department of Education has created a technical-review process for the two state consortia that are designing assessments for the common standards.


The technical review will focus on two aspects of the work the assessment consortia are doing: item design and validation. This is in contrast to the program-review process that the department began when the two consortia first received federal Race to the Top funding in 2010. That monitors how the states are progressing with the work they outlined in their original applications.

Deb Gardner's insight:

Kathleen Porter-Magee (one of my fave contributors at The Fordham Institute) named to technical review board.

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Testing Group Approves Performance-Level Descriptions

Testing Group Approves Performance-Level Descriptions | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

You can review Smarter Balanced's achievement-level descriptors on a special page of its website. Along with the descriptors, and a list of the people who drafted them, is the group's draft college-readiness policy, which governs the conditions under which colleges can use the scores to place students in credit-bearing courses. The governing board voted not to finalize that policy yet; discussions on it will continue.

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Assessment Consortium Releases Testing Time Estimates

Assessment Consortium Releases Testing Time Estimates | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

The heart of PARCC's information about testing times and windows is contained in its "guidance" document. Keep in mind that the math and ELA sections of PARCC tests consist of two parts: a performance-based assessment, given after about three-quarters of the school year, including more in-depth, extended exercises; and an end-of-year computer-based component, given after 90 percent of the year. Here's how it boils down:

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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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High Level View of PARCC and SBAC

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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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Common Core Pilot Tests Expose Glitches, IT Weaknesses

Common Core Pilot Tests Expose Glitches, IT Weaknesses | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
Technology and tests get a workout as school districts nationwide pilot Common Core assessments from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.
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Amplify Insight Wins Contract from Common-Core Testing Consortium

Amplify Insight Wins Contract from Common-Core Testing Consortium | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

One of the two consortia developing tests for the Common Core State Standards has awarded a $12.5 million contract to Amplify Insight to develop a digital library of formative assessment professional learning tools for educators.

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