Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Learning more about future national assessments . . .

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, of which our state is a member, released today their definition of college-readiness and the descriptors of achievement that will influence the assessments our students will take beginning in 2015.  You can read about their release on the consortium's web page or read a summary in this Education Week article.  The work of this group and the other consortium, PARCC, will drive testing at the national level.

Reshaping Tests, College Coursework

These steps by both groups are important, because they will shape the design of the tests that nearly all students in the country will take in mathematics and English/language arts, define what students should know how to do at key points in their education, and carry powerful signals about whether they can skip remedial work in college and enroll in entry-level, credit-bearing courses. 

The Smarter Balanced tests will have four achievement levels as measured by this Grade 11 Policy Framework for College Readiness.  You can find the details on college content readiness and the English language arts/literacy descriptors here.

Below is an example for Grade 6 of the Mathematics Target; Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems.  You can find the mathematics document here.

It is important to note that these are draft documents with much work yet to be done.  Smarter Balanced is seeking public feedback through January 15th.  If you have the time to peruse the work and would like to provide feedback, you can complete the survey here.  These are important documents because they provide additional information and guidance on what students will need to know and be able to do on the Common Core assessments.  Please share with us what you are learning from the documents in this important release.

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