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Articles tagged with common core standards

Are you ready for Common Core? Answer this technology readiness survey to find out

If you haven’t done so already and you’re in one of the 45 states, plus the District of Columbia, that signed on to participate in the Common Core State Standards Initiative, take a moment before the end of the month to see if your school’s technology infrastructure is ready to handle the electronic assessments that are also part of the project.

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, the two groups chosen to develop the online tests, have jointly created the Technology Readiness Tool– a detailed questionnaire that asks schools about the state of their IT program.

Along with hardware purchasing guidelines, the readiness tool helps districts see where they are and where they need to be, in terms of technology, when Common Core goes live in 2014-2015.

As a reminder, Common Core State Standards for reading and math were released in the summer of 2010. Internationally benchmarked and designed to be clearer and more rigorous than the patchwork of state standards, the standards are scheduled to be implemented, complete with new computerized assessment systems in two years.

Read ASBJ’s March 2011 issue for a great primer on the initiative and logon to take the technology readiness assessment by June 30. The consortia will use the answers supplied by districts to make decisions on how the implementation, such as how long to keep the testing window open.

Naomi Dillon|June 20th, 2012|Categories: American School Board Journal|Tags: , , , , , |

Driving data and staying on track

12284172421897139812CoD_fsfe_Checklist_icon_svg_medBeing “data-driven” is generally considered a good thing. The U.S. Department of Education collects data, of course, as do states and local school districts. But whether this information is: a) useful, b) not useful, or c) grossly misleading depends on what data is collected and how it’s interpreted.

It’s a tricky business that’s anything but straightforward, as the Center on Education Policy shows in a recent letter to the two consortia that are developing common core standards for the states.

CEP supports the work of SBAC and PARCC (the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment and Readiness for College and Careers), but it says numbers can unwittingly obscure or distort the information they’re supposed to illuminate.

Citing a common example, CEP notes that NCLB, with its single-minded emphasis on the percentage of students achieving proficiency, does “not tell the whole story of what’s happening in student achievement.”

“The percentage proficient places an  implied value on bringing students to a minimal level of efficiency,” the letter says, “but does not capture achievement gains above the proficiency cut scores (or below it for students who have not yet reached proficiency).”

Naomi Dillon|May 9th, 2011|Categories: Curriculum, Educational Research, Policy Formation, American School Board Journal|Tags: , , |

NCLB needs fixing, will common core standards be the answer?

At about the midpoint of a recent Washington, D.C., seminar on the fast-moving push for common state standards, Michael J. Feuer, a dean at George Washington University offered this humorous, if slightly discomforting, comparison with No Child Left Behind:

“For awhile, we were hoping that all kids would be proficient,” said Feuer, dean of the university’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development. “Now we’re just hoping the tests will be proficient.”

We know what happened with NCLB, and it certainly wasn’t universal agreement over the law’s ability to quantify and then raise student achievement.

“This law is fundamentally broken, and we need to fix it, and fix it this year,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told the House Committee on Education and the Workforce last week. “The law has created dozens of ways for schools to fail and very few ways to help them succeed.”


Naomi Dillon|March 15th, 2011|Categories: Governance, Student Achievement, Policy Formation, Assessment, American School Board Journal|Tags: , , |

New on

0311CoverASBJIf you’ve been in education long enough, you know that change, widespread, systemic change takes an even longer time.

So, it’s been a surprise to everyone how quickly participation, cooperation, and agreement on a set of common standards for language arts and math came together. What does it mean for your state?

The March cover story by Senior Editor Lawrence Hardy aims to answer that, while a companion piece by frequent ASBJ contributor, Douglas Reeves, provides five essential actions every school district should take in anticipation of the standards.

To be sure, ASBJ holds the quality of its content to a high standard and we hope you agree as you peruse the March edition, now available online.

Naomi Dillon|March 2nd, 2011|Categories: NSBA Publications, American School Board Journal|Tags: , |
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