Assessment Report Roundup

Common-Core Tests Dig Deep to Assess Learning, Study Says

By Catherine Gewertz — January 23, 2013 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Tests now being designed for the common standards are likely to gauge deeper levels of learning and have a major impact on classroom instruction, according to a study of the common assessments released last week.

The National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards & Student Testing, or CRESST, at the University of California, Los Angeles, analyzed the work done so far by the two consortia of states designing the tests. The center concludes that the assessments hold much promise for improving teacher practice and student learning but cautions that key financial, technical, and political challenges lie ahead.

Co-authors Joan Herman and Robert Linn relied on Norman Webb’s “depth of knowledge” classification system to explore the extent to which the common assessments will gauge students’ “deeper learning.” That system assigns four levels to learning, from Level 1, which features basic comprehension and recall of facts and terms, to Level 4, which involves extended analysis, investigation, or synthesis. Their study was funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which also provides support for Education Week‘s coverage of deeper learning.

It concludes that the work so far of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is “moving testing practice forward substantially in representing deeper learning, but the nature of available data make it difficult to determine precisely the extent of the change.”

The remaining challenges cited by the study include:

• Maintaining performance tasks in the face of cost and time concerns from states.

• Making automated scoring possible for constructed-response items and performance tasks to keep costs down.

• Ensuring the comparability of with-accommodations and without-accommodations versions of the tests.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the January 23, 2013 edition of Education Week as Common-Core Tests Dig Deep to Assess Learning, Study Says

Events

Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
College & Workforce Readiness Webinar
The School to Workforce Gap: How Are Schools Setting Students Up For Life & Lifestyle Success?
Hear from education and business leaders on how schools are preparing students for their leap into the workforce.
Content provided by Find Your Grind
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
The Key to Better Learning: Indoor Air Quality
Learn about the importance of improved indoor air quality in schools, and how to pick the right solutions for educators, students, and staff.
Content provided by Delos

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Assessment Opinion Rebooting Assessment and Accountability Post-Pandemic: What Now?
The disruptions of the pandemic have made this an ideal time to rethink accountability and assessment.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Assessment Don’t Use State Tests ‘Punitively,’ Ed. Secretary Cardona Warns
As federal accountability restarts after two years, guidance from the department underscores how complicated that could be.
5 min read
Image of data, target goals, and gaining ground.
iStock/Getty
Assessment Latest Round of Federal Grants Aims to Make States' Assessments More Equitable, Precise
The U.S. Department of Education awarded over $29 million in competitive grants to 10 state education agencies.
2 min read
Assessment review data 599911460
vladwei/iStock/Getty<br/>
Assessment Opinion Are There Better Ways Than Standardized Tests to Assess Students? Educators Think So
Student portfolios and school community surveys are but two of the many alternatives to standardized tests.
3 min read
Illustration of students in virus environment facing wave of test sheets.
Collage by Vanessa Solis/Education Week (Images: iStock/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty)