Eric.ed.gov – The Right Trajectory: State Teachers of the Year Compare Former and New State Assessments

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“The Right Trajectory” brings to the forefront an often-overlooked voice in the debate about new state assessments developed in consortia: that of the best teachers in the country. This research suggests, despite challenges still to overcome, that these front-line experts believe that the new consortia tests are an improvement on the former assessments and so represent movement in the right direction for students and for education in their states. What do great teachers think of the new assessments compared to the previous ones? As part of state transitions to college and career ready (CCR) standards, including the Common Core State Standards in more than 40 states (NGA & CCSSO, 2010), states are for the first time administering new summative assessments aligned to those standards and aiming for a higher bar in assessment quality. For a majority of states, this means the “consortia assessments”–the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) or Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced). To better understand what excellent teachers–given the opportunity to closely examine new and former tests side by side–would think about these new consortia assessments, the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) sought to answer the following questions: Do the new assessments better reflect what great teachers are doing in their classrooms? Do they reflect higher quality than former state tests? Do these assessments represent movement in the right direction? To do this, they assembled a group of former State Teachers of the Year (STOYs) from multiple states, each of whom has been recognized at the local and state levels for their teaching excellence. One panel reviewed PARCC and two prior state assessments: Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT), and New Jersey’s Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJASK) (both states currently use PARCC). The second panel reviewed Smarter Balanced and two prior state assessments: Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS), and New Hampshire’s New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) (both states currently use Smarter Balanced). All assessments were for fifth grade reading and math because it is on the cusp between elementary and middle school, making assessments at that grade relevant to elementary and middle teachers and students. What they found was clear: There was consensus across participating teachers that the new consortia assessments–both PARCC and Smarter Balanced–represent an improvement and the right trajectory. [For “Still on the Right Trajectory,” see ED581173. For “Beginning a Higher Trajectory,” see ED581170.]

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

Jeg er ansat som adjunkt hos Læreruddannelsen i Jelling, hvor jeg underviser i matematik, specialiseringsmodulet teknologiforståelse, praktik m.m. Jeg har tidligere været ansat som pædagogisk konsulent i matematik og tysk hos UCL ved Center for Undervisningsmidler (CFU) i Vejle og lærer i udskolingen (7.-9. klasse) på Lyshøjskolen i Kolding. Jeg er ejer af og driver bl.a. hjemmesiderne www.lærklokken.dk og www.iundervisning.dk, ggbkursus.dk og er tidligere fagredaktør på matematik på emu.dk. Jeg går ind for, at læring skal være let tilgængelig og i størst mulig omfang gratis at benytte.

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