News from the Eastern 2 Region
Eric Milou, Eastern 2 Regional Director
As we all prepare for the 2012-13 school year, we face many challenges and opportunities. At the forefront of those for us in the Eastern 2 region will be to continue to prepare curriculum and instruction to align to the Common Core State Standards. This can be exhaustive work so please consider the many resources that NCSM has to help you including a dynamic set of powerpoints that illustrate the mathematics practices. Additionally, don't forget the PRIME (PRinciples and Indicators for Mathematics Education Leaders) leadership frameworks (which is being updated to reflect the Common Core).
States in our region (and the country for that matter) are split between the two assessment consortiums. PARCC resources can be found at www.parcconline.org. Pay particular attention to the recently released model content frameworks for grades 3-8 and for high school (this document replaces Appendix A - which should no longer be used for curriculum purposes). Smarter Balanced's website can be found at www.smarterbalanced.org. This website contains many powerpoints and videos with preliminary assessment items and performance tasks. Moreover, Smarter Balanced has released a plethora of sample items at: dese.mo.gov/divimprove/assess/sbac.html.
Both assessments consortiums share many commonalities including the use of a mix of item types, including selected response, constructed response, technology enhanced and complex performance tasks. Likewise, both assessments will have two summative components, both given during final weeks of the school year. Moreover, both will use a mix of electronic and human scoring with results expected within two weeks after completion. Finally they both will contain optional interim assessments, professional development modules, formative items/tasks for classroom use, and model curricular/instructional units.
However, PARCC is developing a fixed-form assessment (students take one of several fixed, equated sets of items) in grades 3-8, algebra, geometry, and algebra II with optional K-2 formative performance tasks. On the other hand, Smarter Balanced is developing adaptive delivery assessment (students see an individually tailored set of items and tasks) in grades 3-8 and high school with a retake option available for the end-of-year component.
Also note that there are three other assessments consortiums (that received little press). Two consortiums are building alternate assessments: the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) Consortium and the National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) Consortium. A third consortium is creating an English Language Proficiency (ELP) assessment entitled the Assessment Services Supporting English learners through Technology Systems (ASSETS).
To continue to learn and prepare for the Common Core assessments, I would encourage you to attend the NCSM fall leadership seminar on October 24, 2012 in Hartford, CT, which will precede the NCTM regional conference.