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Common Core State Standards and AssessmentsWhat States Are Doing
 
  COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS AND ASSESSMENTS
 
What States Are Doing
Selected Research & Readings
 


Assessment
Standards


Assessment Opt-Out Policies: State responses to parent pushback - Confusion is growing as parents increasingly want to opt their children out of state tests. Some state policies are clear on this issue, but many are still working through the process. This ECS Education Trends report highlights the myriad ways states are addressing this hot-button issue. (Stephanie Aragon, Julie Rowland and Micah Ann Wixom, ECS, February 2015) ...

50 Ways to Test: A look at state summative assessments in 2014-15 - This document provides a high-level overview of the two testing consortia and federal testing requirements, and then provides a snapshot of what assessments are planned in each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., during the 2014-15 academic year. (Tonette Salazar, ECS, November 2014)...

From the ECS State Policy Database: Common Core State Standards and Assessments - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

States and the (not so) new standards -- where are they now? - There has been a flurry of activity around the Common Core State Standards, and while it seems the landscape is changing all the time, there has been very limited change in state standards. This report captures a snapshot of where states currently stand in regard to those standards. (Kathy Christie and Tonette Salazar, ECS, September 2014) ...

The Evolving Politics of the Common Core - After tracing the rocky history of the Common Core State Standards, an initiative of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, the authors conclude the Core is not to be written off just yet. It is important not to overstate the opposition's vigor, they write: only five states rescinded their support and many state reform initiatives altered little but the name. Eventually, the Core's success might be considered impressive. (Ashley Jochim and Lesley Lavery, Brookings, May 2015)...

Illinois Assessment Review Task Force Report - In this study of assessments mandated by the Illinois legislature, superintendents reported a wide range of time spent in administering tests. While there was no direct cost to districts for required federal and state accountability assessments, superintendents said the average cost for non-required assessments was $36.20 per student. Seventy percent of students said they take "about the right amount" of standardized tests while their parents were almost evenly divided about testings' impact on their child's school day. (Assessment Review Task Force, April 2015)...

Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Implementation Review Workgroup - Maryland lawmakers created a workgroup in 2014 to improve implementation of PARCC and the Common Core. Among the group's recommendations are that readiness be further defined by the Maryland State Department of Education, that the department and stakeholders work together to make decisions about use of state assessment data, and that the department monitor issues including test comparability, and technological and digital issues encountered during assessment administrations. (Maryland CCR Standards and PARCC Implementation Workgroup, March 2015)...

The Colorado Standards and Assessments Task Force (HB14-1202): Report of Findings and Recommendations - Charged with studying the implications of Colorado's assessment system, a task force agreed that while assessments provide valuable data for holding schools and districts accountable, state and local assessments create too many demands on time, logistics and finances. Where possible, changes must be made to the type, frequency and use of assessments. The task force recognized the state's ability to change the system was restricted by federal requirements. (Colorado Standards and Assessments Task Force, January 2015) ...

Iowa Assessment Task Force Report - A report of the Iowa Assessment Task Force recommends Smarter Balanced Assessments as the statewide assessment of student progress on core indicators of mathematics and reading. The Task Force also recommends reconvening when new science standards are available, and that a work group be created to study technology readiness. (Iowa Department of Education, December 2014) ...

Study Commission on the Use of Student Assessments in New Jersey Interim Report - New Jersey's study commission on student assessments recommends in its interim report that each district review the tests and quizzes being given in classrooms to develop a coordinated structure and schedule. Parents should be engaged and notified of tests their children will take. The state should lead efforts to review state- and federal-required tests such as PARCC and the National Assessment of Educational Progress to ensure they are coordinated with other tests. (State of New Jersey, December 2014)...

College and Career Readiness: States Have Made Progress in Implementing New Standards and Assessments, but Challenges Remain - Whether they adopted Common Core or implemented their own standards, states are using similar strategies to implement college and career readiness standards, namely professional development, curricula and assessments aligned with the new standards. Challenges include concerns about the technology needed to administer tests and falling test scores. (GAO, December 2014)...

Gearing Up to Teach the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in the Rural Northeast Region - Interviews and a survey indicate that many rural educators have access to professional development and networking opportunities designed to help them implement the Common Core math standards, but they need time to review the standards and plan instruction. They also need additional training to implement the math standards effectively and they need access to quality resources and materials. (Kirk Walters, et al., REL Northeast & Islands, December 2014)...

Explaining the Common Core - Rallying support for Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in an unsupportive atmosphere can be accomplished by state boards of education in a variety of ways. This brief uses state examples to show how, highlighting states including Utah, which identified allies and responded to public concern, Colorado, where a state board member wrote an op-ed, Illinois, which shared teacher videos and Alabama, which launched a website highlighting tasks aligned to CCSS standards. (Amelia Vance, National Association of State Boards of Education, November 2014)...

The Role of the Common Core in the Gubernatorial Elections of 2014 - Gubernatorial races viewed through the Common Core prism reveal that support for and opposition to the Core were fairly evenly split, mostly across party lines. Candidates in opposition cited the federal government; supporters emphasized economic advantages and increased rigor. (Jonathan Supovitz, Bobbi Newman and Ariel Smith, Consortium for Policy Research in Education, November 2014)...

Standards of the Week - By going to Alabama’s Department of Education site for parents and students, both groups encounter engaging “standards of the week,” which give an idea of learning at different grade levels. Each reads “DO YOU WANT YOUR CHILD TO KNOW AND BE ABLE TO DO THIS? If your answer is YES, get involved in your local school and support Alabama’s College- and Career-Ready Standards.” (Alabama Department of Education, October 2014) ...

State Implementation of Common Core State Standards: Summary Report - The Southern Regional Education Board provides a look at how 15 states - 12 in the SREB region - are doing with the Common Core. All 15 states are teaching Core standards and seven administer Core-aligned assessments. Leading states are Kentucky and New York; other strong states are Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland and North Carolina. The report goes on to evaluate teaching resources, professional development, evaluation of teachers and leaders and accountability. (Kimberly Anderson and Mary Elizabeth Mira, Southern Regional Education Board, March 2014)...

State Education Agencies' Views of the Federal Role - The Common Core of State Standards (CCSS) still faces some resistance largely due to the perception that they are federally related or controlled, though the initiative was launched by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Still, most deputy state superintendents polled said they would welcome federal help in implementing the new, rigorous standards, and they didn’t see pockets of CCSS opposition as a looming problem. Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act could help or hinder states in getting federal help with implementation. (Diane Stark Rentner, Center on Education Policy, July 2013)...

Moving Forward: A National Perspective on States’ Progress In Common Core State Standards Implementation Planning - This study serves as a follow-up to our January 2012 Preparing for Change report, which detailed state-reported survey responses about the status of CCSS implementation planning in 2011 overall and in three key areas: teacher professional development, curriculum guides, and teacher-evaluation systems. (Education First and EPE Research Center, Feb 2013)...

Strength in Numbers: State Spending on K-12 Assessment Systems - Chingos addresses concerns about costs of moving from NCLB assessments to Common Core assessments. Nationwide, states spend some $1.7 billion on tests, which amounts to only one-quarter of one percent of annual K-12 spending, he writes. To pour that into teacher salaries would only increase them by $550 a year. Instead Chingos suggests states seek efficiencies by collaborating on assessments, sharing fixed costs over a larger number of students and using that market power to get test-makers to divulge more about pricing.(Matthew M. Chingos, December 2012) ...

Plans to Adopt and Implement Common Core State Standards in the Southeast Region States - Based on interviews with state officials in the six Southeast Region states, this study describes state processes for adopting the Common Core State Standards (a common set of expectations across states for what students are expected to know in English language arts and math) and plans for implementing the common standards and aligning state assessment systems to them. (REL Southeast, 2012)...

Preparing for Change: A National Perspective on Common Core State Standards Implementation Planning - To gain insight into the steps states are taking to implement the Common Core State Standards, Education First and the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center examined state planning activities in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. This study is intended to inform state policymakers, SEA staff, and other stakeholders interested in better understanding the progress states have made toward implementing common standards. (Education First and Editorial Projects in Education, Inc., 2012)...

Year Two of Implementing the Common Core State Standards: States' Progress and Challenges - The Center on Education Policy conducted a survey of deputy superintendents or their designees to gather information about states’ strategies, policies, and challenges during the second year of implementing the Common Core State Standards. Findings indicate that States view the standards as more rigorous than their previous standards and are making progress in transitioning to the new standards. But states face challenges in fully implementing the standards, particularly in finding adequate funding. The majority of the CCSS-adopting states do not expect to fully implement the new standards until school year 2014-15 or later. (Center on Education Policy, 2012)...

Common Core State Standards: Progress and Challenges in School Districts' Implementation - Implementing the common core state standards in the adopting states will require considerable work by school districts as well as state education agencies. The majority of districts in the adopting states expect these standards to be more rigorous than the ones they are replacing and anticipate that the standards will help to improve students' skills in math and English language arts. Substantially revised curriculum materials and fundamental changes in instruction will also be required. (Nancy Kober and Diane Stark Rentner, Center on Education Policy, September 2011)...

The State of State U.S. History Standards 2011 - Reviewers evaluated state standards for U.S. history in grades K-12. What they found is discouraging: Twenty-eight states—a majority—deserve D or F grades for their academic standards in this key subject. The average grade across all states is a dismal D. Among the few bright spots, South Carolina earns a straight A for its standards and six other jurisdictions garner A-minuses. A total of 19 states received F. (Thomas B. Fordham Institute, February 2011)...

States' Progress and Challenges in Implementing Common Core State Standards - To learn more about states' progress and plans for implementing the common core state standards, the Center on Education Policy surveyed state deputy superintendents of education or their designees in October and November 2010. Responses were received from 42 states and the District of Columbia, which is counted as a state in the tallies in the report. The authors draw the conclusion that the move to implementation of the common core state standards will take a number of years. (Center on Education Policy, January 2011)...


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