A lot of people will be caught off guard when states’ new assessments, based on the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and math, are introduced in the 2014-15 school year. Don’t be one of those people. Go read my colleague Catherine Gewertz’s Aug. 14 story on a preview of the types of questions that will likely be on the tests offered by the two consortia of states, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers, or PARCC.
Alongside the quotes you might expect to see about testing whether students can demonstrate that they have a deep understanding of the material at hand, you’ll also see sample items that are helping guide development of tests that provide some insight. The topics range from how scientists track bird migration, to a Susan B. Anthony speech from 1872. In addition, Catherine includes a sample “performance task” that asks students to engage in complex, prolonged exercises. It’s well worth the read, and you’ll be ahead of the game.
A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.