EdEval Week: Tiffany Berry and Kathryn Edwards on New Assessment Systems Designed to Align with Common Core Standards

Hi! My name is Tiffany Berry and I’m a research associate professor at Claremont Graduate University. My colleague, Kathryn Edwards, is an educational evaluator from the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE).

I recently attended a training hosted by LACOE on the assessment systems that will replace our state standardized tests starting in 2014-2015. As an educational evaluator, I found this training invaluable given that (1) we rely on state testing as a key achievement measure in many evaluations; (2) formative and summative assessments are our bread and butter; (3) we need to be mindful of interpreting and using state assessment data during the transition years; and (4) we may be called upon to help educators understand, use, and validate the new assessments as well as plan for their impending implementation.

Rad Resource: Latest Information about the Common Core Standards

The Common Core Initiative is a state-led effort launched by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). These K-12 English Language Arts and mathematics standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare students for college and careers. The final standards, released in June 2010, have been adopted by forty-five of the fifty states. States are in the process of developing implementation plans to facilitate transition to the Common Core. Please visit this website for more information: http://www.corestandards.org

Rad Resource: Assessment Systems Being Developed to Align with Common Core

Two multi-state consortia, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) and SMARTER Balanced Assessment System received Race To The Top funding to build next generation assessment systems to measure the full range of the Common Core State Standards. The consortia will use on-line systems to test students in grades 3 through 12 using interim and summative assessments. These innovative systems will deliver a variety of item types including selected response, constructed response and performance tasks. Additionally, the consortia will provide resources and training for educators.

Hot Tip: This post is intended as a call to action for educational evaluators serving PreK-12. Knowing when these assessments come on-line, what constructs they measure, how they measure them, and how these assessments intend to inform student learning will position educational evaluators to facilitate important conversations around how best to use research, evaluation, and assessment to support educational institutions in the 21st century.

Hot Tip: Take a minute and thank a teacher this week!

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Educational Evaluation Week with our colleagues in the PreK-12 Educational Evaluation AEA Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our EdEval TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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