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Assessment in a Common Core Era: Revolutionary or Evolutionary?

Abstract

"In conjunction with the adoption and subsequent implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM), state-led consortia are developing next-generation assessments aligned to the CCSSM. This paper discusses the progress and plans of two main coalitions of states--the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)-- as they work to develop new and innovative assessments to measure the CCSSM and replace current state assessments. They attempt to integrate into each of their assessment systems various facets of testing (e.g., online administration, computer adaptive testing, performance-based tasks) already in existence. What is proposed to be revolutionary and innovative in testing appears more like the next evolutionary step in assessment. Scheduled for full implementation in 2014--2015, what remains to be seen is whether these assessments can accomplish two goals: (1) close the gap with NAEP and (2) replace college placement tests."

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