Friday, July 16, 2010

We’ve got standards. Now what?

If a state adopts the Common Core standards but is not taking any steps to change its assessments, is it really changing its standards? If you are a reporter in a state that has already adopted, find out what, if anything, is in the works for curriculum and testing. Obviously textbooks and classroom practice and graduation exams cannot be changed on a dime, but someone in your state department of education should at least be thinking about how to make those standards actually mean something. That’s the person you should get on the phone.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent point. I'd also suggest following the Race to the Top Assessment Program, in which the Department of Education is awarding up to $350 million to encourage state consortia to develop innovative and higher quality summative (end of year, high stakes) and formative (given during the school year to assess learning progress, low stakes) assessments. The submitted applications are online, and awards are to be announced in September.

    The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) includes 26 states and its application is here: The Smarter Balanced consortium has 31 state members; more here: . Based on the applications, we can expect to see dramatic changes in testing in the U.S., with the so-called multiple choice "bubble tests" being discarded in favor of new kinds of assessment. Both consortia plan on aligning their new assessments to the Common Core standards, and that will propel an actual shift to using the Common Core.

    There is a useful primer on RTT-A that the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers has issued here: