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Helping teachers complement, support and extend curriculum based on the CCSS to improve educational outcomes for all students.
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Common Core Test Scores Dismal

Common Core Test Scores Dismal | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
In Rochester, only 5 percent of students are proficient in math and English.
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Experts Urge States To Stay Course on High-Quality Assessments

Experts Urge States To Stay Course on High-Quality Assessments | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

A bevy of heavy-hitting assessment experts has identified five things that make assessments high quality, and is urging states to hold out for such tests in the face of political and financial pressures that might weaken their resolve.

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Andrew Grosso's curator insight, October 21, 8:58 PM

I appreciate two things in particular about this essay: first, the emphasis on "higher-order thinking skills" and, second, the emphasis placed on assessing not only students but also instructors, curricula, and all the elements of the educational process.  If anything's going to make the case for innovative forms of teaching and learning, it's assessment: demonstrating that students actually learn more, not just in terms of quantity but (especially) in terms of quality, is essential if the merits of emerging educational strategies and tools are to be recognized and supported.

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Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners: Open School ePortfolio for Authentic Assessment

Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners: Open School ePortfolio for Authentic Assessment | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
Open School ePortfolio is a free and user friendly CoolTool designed to help teachers and students easily manage the portfolio process. Teachers can sign up for a free account and use the built in tools to add students to classes without requiring a student email address. Teachers can create projects that can be assigned to specific groups of students for differentiation. There is also an option to improve the home school connection by inviting parents to login in participate in the process.
When creating projects, there is an option to create a grading rubric. The rubric creation process is streamlined and easy to use. It includes drop down menus with CCSS Standards for ELA and math, and it also includes standards for other content areas that have been assembled by Open School ePortfolio. Rubrics are easily visible to students with each assignment for use as a guideline for meeting goals. The built in rubric creator is certainly one of the best features of Open School ePortfolio.
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The end of the testing consortia as we know it?

The end of the testing consortia as we know it? | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
Alabama’s decision to drop out of both consortia and choose a battery of ACT exams is enormous
Deb Gardner's insight:

I'm a little confused. What did  the SBOE members in Alabama know about the ACT exams that swayed the vote away from PARCC?  Are the ACT exams less reliant on technology? Are they less expensive, easier to administer, faster to score? Anyone?

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Here Comes the Common Core 

Here Comes the Common Core  | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

We will enter a new phase of the transition next week, when students in grades three to eight will take different and more challenging state tests. Unlike the old state tests, which assessed only basic skills, this year’s tests will tell us where students are on the path to success in life after high school.

Deb Gardner's insight:

Thinking of our teachers and students in the Big Apple and cities beyond in the state of New York this week as they begin their CCSS assessments in grades 3-8.

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Grading with the Common Core

Grading with the Common Core | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
Great strategy for grading students with the Common Core. Here is a quick tip to help teachers, students and parents assess how students are learning with the new Common Core Standards.
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Ted Caron's comment, April 15, 2013 10:36 AM
These grading areas could be a great starting point for a school looking to adjust its report card. Instead of identifying each individual standard, I would consider broader categories would accompanying teacher annotations that help provide more specific, standards-focused information related to larger strands.
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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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Aligning Interim/Benchmark Assessments to the CCSS

Aligning Interim/Benchmark Assessments to the CCSS | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

The Council of Chief State School Officers in partnership with Student Achievement Partners and Council of Great City Schools hosted a webinar on March 19, 2013 dedicated to providing high-level guidance on aligning interim/benchmark assessments to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Over 230 leaders of assessments from 46 states listened to the webinar.


In the recorded webinar, you will find the Student Achievement Partners team explaining the three shifts called for by the Standards in ELA/literacy and mathematics and their implications for interim/benchmark assessments as well as introducing the CCSS Draft Rubric for Interim/Benchmark Assessment in ELA/literacy and Mathematics. Also posted below are the CCSS Draft Rubric for Interim/Benchmark Assessment in ELA/literacy and Mathematics.

Deb Gardner's insight:

How do schools create and/or obtain benchmark assessments that are CCSS aligned?


The CCSSO shares its recorded webinar, webinar slides and its draft rubrics for Math and ELA benchmark assessments.

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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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ETS's HiSET™ Test Offers Affordable, Accessible High School Equivalency Assessment

ETS's HiSET™ Test Offers Affordable, Accessible High School Equivalency Assessment | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Nonprofit Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the University of Iowa's Iowa Testing Programs (ITP) are proud to introduce the new ETS High School Equivalency Test — HiSET — a national testing program that provides an accessible and affordable alternative to the GED® test for states, educators, test takers and test center administrators.

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Common Core Writing Rubrics (Grade 9-10)

Common Core Writing Rubrics (Grade 9-10) | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Many institutions are seeking ways to implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) or align curricula across secondary and higher education to better support student success.


Turnitin has partnered with the English Professional Learning Council (EPLC) to develop three writing rubricsargument, informative and narrativethat are aligned with the CCSS. These rubrics help instructors convey their expectations to students, grade submitted work against the CCSS, provide critical feedback, and track student progress.


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Common Core Assessment Design | EngageNY

Common Core Assessment Design | EngageNY | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

With the transition to the New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS), significant changes have been made to the New York State Testing Program (NYSTP). To guide item (test question) development and to help ensure that NYS tests are measuring the CCLS for Mathematics and ELA with fidelity, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) has developed Item Review Criteria and additional guidance resources. These documents, while intended for use by assessment developers and reviewers, can also be used by educators in the classroom to develop CCLS-aligned instruction.

Deb Gardner's insight:

What should my classroom assessments look like when teaching in a CCSS classroom? I need to know this if I'm "planning with the end in mind."

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Cutting to the chase

Cutting to the chase | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

As the U.S. education world eagerly awaits more information about the new assessments that two consortia of states are developing to accompany the Common Core standards, dozens of perplexing and important questions have arisen: Once the federal grants run out, how will these activities be financed? What will it cost states and districts to participate? Who will govern and manage these massive testing programs? What about the technology infrastructure? The list goes on.

Deb Gardner's insight:

For Mr. Finn, however, it's all about the cut scores!

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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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District 204 to help shape national teacher assessments

District 204 to help shape national teacher assessments | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
Education experts have chosen Indian Prairie School District 204 to take part in a national field study that will help shape teacher assessments and provide examples of excellent teaching in videos, which will be used by educators nationwide.


First, researchers will study how a widely used teacher-evaluation tool called Charlotte Danielson's Framework for Teaching aligns with expectations of teaching the common-core education standards. The standards are being implemented in 45 states. Many states, including Illinois, are also tying teacher evaluations to student achievement. By the 2016 school year, Illinois teachers will be assessed on student performance.


Second, the project will pull together free resources, including videos of District 204 teachers, for all teachers as they work to implement the standards in their classrooms.

Deb Gardner's insight:

The project is expected to be completed by end of 2014.

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I Teach Bay: Reflections On A Year Of Educational Shifts

I Teach Bay: Reflections On A Year Of Educational Shifts | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Over the past school year, I have had the opportunity to work with educators locally, statewide and nationally who are all in the process of shifting their teaching to meet the requirements of new learning standards, new professional standards and new assessment designs.   I wish that all teachers had the opportunity to experience this kind of collaborative work at so many different levels.  I have done a lot of reflection on what I have learned and would like to share the top 5 ideas with all of you!

Deb Gardner's insight:

Most helpful for me - reminders about the importance of formative assessments (strategicaly build into our lessons with intentionality and a plan to circle back if needed).

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Walk the Walk: Writing Driving CCSS Assessment

Walk the Walk: Writing Driving CCSS Assessment | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

I spent Friday and Saturday in a workshop about the assessments educators will find emerging with oncoming Common Core State Standards. Along with 40+ educators from across Pennsylvania, the Institute for Learning (IFL) led us through several assessment models designed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).


Deb Gardner's insight:

Blog post written by a writing teacher - worth the read! Take-aways:


  • assessment models advocated multiple reads of multiple texts within one unit or lesson.
  • impetus to integrate reading and writing across all subject areas drives the dismissal of classes only using textbook-driven instruction...and their mirrored counterparts in current state testing. 
  • not a short-term process. CCSS positioning educators to make a long-term commitment towards altering the way in which we teach and in how we see time best spent in our classrooms.
  • writing and the ability to extract and synthesize evidence from multiple texts is the essential component of upcoming CCSS assessments.


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Should Common Assessments Use Computers to Score Writing?

Should Common Assessments Use Computers to Score Writing? | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

How do you feel about the prospect of computers grading students' essays?

That's a pretty pertinent question right now, since it's mired in controversy, and two big groups of states are giving serious consideration to using artificial intelligence to score essays on assessments they're designing for the common standards.

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State board adopts standardized tests aligned with common core

State board adopts standardized tests aligned with common core | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
Voting 6-2 today, the State Board of Education approved a resolution making Alabama the first state in the nation to adopt a new standardized testing system aligned with the Common Core State Standards.
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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 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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New Assessments Will Need Continued Scrutiny

New Assessments Will Need Continued Scrutiny | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

A two-year independent commission studying the future of education and especially the effective use of assessment to measure student learning has issued a public policy statement calling for policymakers to turn their attention on the use of assessments to providing timely information to students and teachers rather than school and teacher accountability. The group also expressed skepticism that the use of digital technologies for performing real-time assessment of learning is ready for prime time, suggesting that more research is required before these can be integrated into classrooms and schools.

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When it comes to testing, listen to teachers | Hechinger Report

When it comes to testing, listen to teachers | Hechinger Report | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

In my second year of teaching in the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), my principal organized monthly “data meetings.” The stated purpose of these meetings was to reflect on our classroom instruction and student progress in light of students’ latest results on district-created standardized tests. I’d always start these meetings with the same comment: “We can’t talk about what these data show if the test isn’t valid.”


I know this sounds like something that a teacher who doesn’t believe in testing would say, but I’m not that teacher. I enter this conversation as a teacher who believes deeply in data. Through my work as a graduate student in teaching and a Teach For America corps member, I was trained to see critical analysis of student data as essential to my practice.

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Ted Caron's comment, March 22, 2013 8:20 AM
Love the points made here, but she needs to be careful about insubordination claims from school admin:)
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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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A Vision for ELL Inclusion in Tests Pegged to the 'Common Core'

A Vision for ELL Inclusion in Tests Pegged to the 'Common Core' | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

New assessments for the Common Core State Standards Initiative should pay particular attention to how formative tests designed within the assessment systems can improve outcomes for English-language learners, a researcher from WestEd contends in a paper released this week. He says that formative assessments should directly inform teacher instruction and student learning through various practices, tools, and processes.


While the least used in U.S. schools, formative assessments may hold the greatest promise for improving outcomes for English-language learners, Linquanti says. He writes that formative assessments take place within instruction through informal observations and conversations as well as carefully planned methods that give teachers a chance to gather evidence.

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