Consortia Provide Preview of Common Assessments
As teachers begin shaping lessons for the common standards, many are wondering how to prepare their students for tests that won’t be ready for at least two years. But sample items being drafted for those exams offer early ideas of what lies ahead.
Two large groups of states are using federal Race to the Top money to create new suites of exams for the Common Core State Standards. Those consortia have recently begun work with private vendors to develop items—questions and tasks—for the tests. But each group has produced a range of sample test items to help those vendors get an idea of what the states want, and experts say they offer valuable insight into the tests that are expected to emerge in 2014-15.
“What we are starting to see here are tests that really get at a deeper understanding on the part of students, not just superficial knowledge,” said Robert L. Linn, an assessment expert and professor emeritus of education at the University of Colorado at Boulder who reviewed a sampling of the consortia’s materials. “But unless students are really prepared for them, it’s going to...
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