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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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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Smarter Balanced Begins Pilot Test of Next-Generation Student Assessments

Smarter Balanced Begins Pilot Test of Next-Generation Student Assessments | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

OLYMPIA, Wash. – February 20, 2013 – Members of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium(Smarter Balanced) today began administering a Pilot Test of the assessment system in schools across the country. The Pilot Test is the first of two large-scale tryouts of the assessments prior to implementation in the 2014-15 school year. Through the Pilot Test, Smarter Balanced will gather information about the performance of assessment items and the test delivery system under real-world conditions.

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CRESST Report Details Smarter Balanced Progress toward Assessment of Deeper Learning | Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

CRESST Report Details Smarter Balanced Progress toward Assessment of Deeper Learning | Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

A new report from UCLA’s National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) finds that the Smarter Balanced assessments will require students to demonstrate a greater depth of knowledge in English language arts / literacy and mathematics than current state tests. 

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Core Connection: Status Check on the Common Core Assessments

Core Connection: Status Check on the Common Core Assessments | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Information and guidance on the coming common assessments from PARCC and SBAC have trickled in ever since these two main consortia were funded in late 2010. While this information is helpful, the piecemeal nature of the dissemination has caused frustration for many of those who will be affected by these assessments.

ASCD’s recent report outlined as a part of its recommendations that educators need to understand and plan for the coming common assessments. Toward that end, we put together some information to provide both a macro and micro overview of the common assessments.

Deb Gardner's insight:

The "thinking forward" concern: Who will “carry the baton across the finish line” after the funding ends?

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No. 2 pencils to give way to computers in testing school students

No. 2 pencils to give way to computers in testing school students | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

The era of coloring in ovals with a No. 2 pencil may soon be over.

More and more tests — such as the military aptitude test and the LSAT law school exam — are going online.

And soon, the standardized math and reading tests for 19 million students in 25 states, including Nevada, will be administered on a tablet or personal computer.


This new computerized assessment will represent one of the largest technological shifts in K-12 education, one that will likely herald the end of the Scantron.


But with any technological disruption, there are questions aplenty.


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Infographic: The Countdown to Next-Gen Assessments - Getting Smart by Sarah Cargill -

Infographic: The Countdown to Next-Gen Assessments - Getting Smart by Sarah Cargill - | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Digital Learning Now! (DLN) today released “Getting Ready for Online Assessments,” the third interactive paper in the DLN Smart Series, which provides recommendations for states and districts to prepare for new, online assessments in the wake of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) implementation in the 2014-15 school year.

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Next-Generation Assessments Aligned to the Common Core

Next-Generation Assessments Aligned to the Common Core | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
Smarter Balanced is developing next-generation assessments in English language arts/literacy and mathematics that will be implemented in the 2014-15 school year. These assessments will provide a more complete, more efficient measurement of student progress — with periodic checks to help evaluate what students need to stay on the path to success and tools to help educators continuously improve instruction.
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Test Designers Seek Help of Students, One at a Time

Test Designers Seek Help of Students, One at a Time | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
The common-core-test labs allow scientists to get inside students' heads and use what they learn to craft questions and tasks.
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Leading the Way with CCSS

Executive Director Joe Willhoft discusses the need to communicate early and often about the CCSS and the new assessment system.
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Testing Consortium Crafts College-Readiness Definition

Testing Consortium Crafts College-Readiness Definition | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Twenty-five states have taken a big step toward designing a shared assessment: They've drafted an initial definition of what college readiness means, and descriptions of the skills and knowledge students must demonstrate at each step of the way toward that goal.

 

Released today, the college-readiness definition and the descriptors of achievement on each level of the test are part of the work of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, one of two federally funded groups of states that are designing assessment systems for the Common Core State Standards.

 

Smarter Balanced is soliciting public feedback on the documents through Jan. 15 (and can be provided using a link on this blog) States in the consortium will then revise them, with an eye toward final adoption in March. Even after that, however, the achievement levels will be considered to be "initial," since they will have to be validated—and possibly revised—by longitudinal research on how students at each level of the test perform when they actually get to college.

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Adaptive Testing Evolves to Assess Common-Core Skills

Adaptive Testing Evolves to Assess Common-Core Skills | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

As many states move to put in place online testing by the 2014-15 school year, at least 20 have indicated they plan to use new computer-adaptive versions of the tests.

 

Nationally, two coalitions have received federal funding to develop English/language arts and mathematics tests for the common standards. Both coalitions—the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC—have said their assessments will feature high-tech, interactive questions that incorporate video and graphics and are designed both to identify what students know and to be more engaging.


Both assessments will be given online, but Smarter Balanced will use adaptive testing, while PARCC will use what are known as fixed-form tests, which feature set questions that generally do not change.

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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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Assessment Group To Begin Testing Common Core Platform

Assessment Group To Begin Testing Common Core Platform | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Member schools of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium have started testing online assessment software that will eventually be used to deliver computer-based tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Six thousand schools from the consortium's 23 member states will test the software from now through May 2013.

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Common-Core Tech Requirements Outlined

Common-Core Tech Requirements Outlined | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

One of the two consortia designing tests for the Common Core State Standards recently released new guidance on the minimum technology standards states will need to meet to give those tests, beginning in 2014-15.


The Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, says the guidance is meant to provide direction to states and districts on the extent to which current technology meets testing standards, or whether upgrades will be required.

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Missouri Survey Reveals Worries About Common Core Tech Burden

Missouri Survey Reveals Worries About Common Core Tech Burden | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

A lack of hardware, a lack of bandwidth, and above all, a lack of time.

Those were among the biggest concerns voiced by Missouri school administrators in a recent statewide survey taken to gauge their capacity to handle the technology requirements associated with implementing online assessments as part of the Common Core State Standards.

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How Adaptive Testing Works - Edudemic

How Adaptive Testing Works - Edudemic | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
You've heard the term 'adaptive testing' thrown around the classroom and blogosphere for quite some time. But what is it?
Deb Gardner's insight:

Smarter Balanced (SBAC) will use adaptive, computerized assessments for Common Core. For greater detail, click here.

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From Quill Pens to Computer Adaptive Testing: Old and New Technological Devices

From Quill Pens to Computer Adaptive Testing: Old and New Technological Devices | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
There are many definitions of instructional technology. One concentrates on devices teachers use in classrooms. Another definition focuses on the different ways that teachers have used such devices as tools to advance learning in lessons. Even other definitions frame technology as processes, ways of organizing classrooms, schools, and districts.

I examine the second definition in this post: the connection between writing tools students used and the perpetual demand over the past two millennia of teachers in every culture to find out what students have learned. Here I consider the quill and steel-tipped pen, pencil, ball-point pen, and yes, the computer.
Deb Gardner's insight:

Ironic that St. Isidore of Seville who is noted in this post for being among the first to mention the quill pen is also recognized by Catholics as being the patron saint of the Internet.  


From quills, pencils, ball points and mouse clicks the way students document and teachers measure learning continues to evolve.

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Getting real about the Common Core

Getting real about the Common Core | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
Big changes lie ahead, but these are fraught with peril. If the “cut scores” (still to be set by the two assessment-building consortia) on new Common Core assessments at the 12th grade level truly signify college/workforce readiness and are accepted as such by the real world, the failure rate will be enormous for years to come and the political pushback will be powerful. How many states can withstand not giving diplomas to large fractions of kids who have persisted in school through 12th grade? Yet if they continue to give diplomas to just about everyone who persists, then many of those diplomas will continue not to signify college-workforce readiness and the real-world incentive/benefit effect will continue to be lost.
Deb Gardner's insight:

Major dilemmas indeed:

Will it be a diploma for persistence or performance?

How will cut scores be handled among different states?

What about the disparity between "old school" evidence of a secondary education and the new, more rigorous evidence of learning?

 

Chester Finn offers his two cents.  PS: As always, consider getting into the conversation and look at the comments. 

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ESSDACK's curator insight, January 8, 2013 6:06 PM

Major dilemmas indeed:

Will it be a diploma for persistence or performance?

How will cut scores be handled among different states?

What about the disparity between "old school" evidence of a secondary education and the new, more rigorous evidence of learning?

 

Chester Finn offers his two cents.  PS: As always, consider getting into the conversation and look at the comments. 

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Smarter Balanced Updates Common-Core Tech. Requirements

Smarter Balanced Updates Common-Core Tech. Requirements | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium has released an updated guide to technology requirements and recommendations for member states planning to implement the common core assessment system the consortium is developing for the 2014-15 school year.
Deb Gardner's insight:

Would appreciate seeing the specs for the PARCC assessment in the same, easy to understand format. This is helpful!

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Testing Group Scales Back Performance Items

Testing Group Scales Back Performance Items | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
A group that is developing tests for half the states in the nation has dramatically reduced the length of its assessment in a bid to balance the desire for a more meaningful and useful exam with concerns about the amount of time spent on testing.

The Smarter Balanced consortium will present only one performance task each in math and literacy, in addition to multiple-choice and other items.
Deb Gardner's insight:

Article claims that "tension" still exists as designers grapple with the purpose of the test being 1) to obtain data to inform instruction or 2) obtain data to measure the results of instruction.

 

I keep thinking of the adage, "Timing is everything."

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Do the Smarter Balanced released assessment items measure up?

Do the Smarter Balanced released assessment items measure up? | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Kathleen Porter-Magee offers her analysis of SBAC's assessment questions in their recently released preview of the test.  Porter-Magee maintains it's a little good, a little bad bad and some ugly.

 

Bottom line is that if teachers and students are going to be held accountable for mastery of the CCSS, it's time for SBAC to get more serious about providing assessment guidance teachers need in order to plan instruction and benchmark assessments.

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