Common Core State Standards: necessary, but not sufficient Common Assessments

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Obstacles or Opportunities: Using the CCSS, PARCC and Educator Evaluation to Improve Student Achievement

Common Standards, Common Assessments Uncommon Results

  • Common Core State Standards: necessary, but not sufficient
  • Common Assessments: required to identify best practices
  • Quality Implementation: critical to improve student achievement

So the question is…

  • What is your role
  • in graduating all students
  • career and college ready?

The CCSS Difference: Grade 7 ELA

  • Before: NJCCCS (2004)
  • 1. Produce written work and oral work that demonstrate comprehension of informational materials.
  • After: CCSS (2010)
  • 2. Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.

The CCSS Difference: Grade 8 Math

  • 1. Understand and apply the Pythagorean Theorem.
  • After: CCSS (2010)
  • 1. Explain a proof of the Pythagorean Theorem and its converse.
  • 2. Apply the Pythagorean Theorem to determine unknown side lengths in right triangles in real-world and mathematical problems in two and three dimensions.
  • 3. Apply the Pythagorean Theorem to find the distance between two points in a coordinate system.

The CCSS Difference Grade 3-5 ELA: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

  • Grade 3
  • Grade 4
  • Grade 5
  • Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic
  • Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgably
  • Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgably.

College Readiness: Grade 11 ELA

  • Write arguments to support claim(s) in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence
  • Introduce precise knowledgeable claims(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences claim(s), counterclaim(s), reasons and evidence.
  • Develop claim(s) and counterclaim(s) fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level, concerns, values, and possible biases.

Limitations of Textbooks and Programs

  • CCSS requires the re-evaluation of textbooks, materials and programs.
  • Rubrics for evaluating resources can be found at the NJDOE website under CCSS.

Model Curriculum 1.0 & 2.0

  • Version 1.0
  • Version 2.0
  • Version 1.0
  • WHAT
  • Students need to Learn
  • WHEN
  • do we know students have Learned
  • Standard
  • Student Learning Objectives
  • Instruction
  • Formative Assessments
  • Summative/Formative
  • CCSS Standard 1
  • SLO #1
  • SLO #2
  • Model Lessons
  • Model Tasks
  • Engaging Instructional Strategies
  • Effective checks for understanding
  • Teacher designed formative assessments
  • Unit Assessment
  • SLOs 1-5
  • CCSS Standard 2
  • SLO #3
  • SLO #4
  • SLO #5
  • General Bank of Assessment Items 2.0
  • Student level learning reports - Professional development - Resource reviews

Why Unit-based Formative Assessments?

  • Clarify the level of rigor for teaching the standards or SLOs
  • Create common expectations in common courses
  • Provide data to inform classroom instruction
  • Provide data that can be combined with observation data to inform PD

Unit Assessment Grade 3 sample formative assessment items

Grade 3, Item #1—Part A: Eliza’s Cherry Trees: Japan’s Gift to America

  • The article includes these details about Eliza’s life:
  • She wrote newspaper articles to tell others about what she saw in Alaska to inform those who had not been there. (paragraph 1)
  • She wrote the first guidebook about Alaska. (paragraph 1)
  • She was the first woman to work at the National Geographic Society, where she wrote many articles and books. (paragraph 11)
  • What do these details help show ?
  • They show that she shared the benefits of her experiences with others.*
  • They show she had many important jobs during her lifetime, but becoming a photographer was one of her proudest moments.
  • They show that her earlier travels were more exciting than the work she did later in her life.
  • They show that she had a careful plan for everything she did in her life.

Grade 3, Item #1—Part B: Eliza’s Cherry Trees: Japan’s Gift to America

  • Ideas from paragraphs 1 and 11 were used to help you learn about Eliza. Click on two other paragraphs that include additional support for the answer in Part A. There are more than two paragraphs that include additional support, but you need to only choose two.

Grade 3, Item #3, Research Simulation Essay: Eliza’s Cherry Trees: Japan’s Gift to America and “The Peanut Man”

  • You have read two texts about famous people in American history who solved a problem by working to make a change.  
  • Write an article for your school newspaper describing how Eliza and Carver faced challenges to change something in America. 
    • In your article, be sure to describe in detail why some solutions they tried worked and others did not work.  
    • Tell how the challenges each one faced were the same and how they were different.

Grade 7 Analytical Prose Constructed-Response Item

  • Based on the information in the text “Biography of Amelia Earhart,” write an essay that summarizes and explains the challenges Earhart faced throughout her life. Remember to use textual evidence to support your ideas.

Grade 7 Technology-Enhanced Constructed-Response Item

  • Below are three claims that one could make based on the article “Earhart’s Final Resting Place Believed Found.”
  • Part A
  • Highlight the claim that is supported by the most relevant and sufficient facts within “Earhart’s Final Resting Place Believed Found.”
  • Part B
  • Click on two facts within the article that best provide evidence to support the claim selected in Part A.

Grade 7, Prose Constructed-Response Item

  • You have read three texts describing Amelia Earhart. All three include the claim that Earhart was a brave, courageous person. The three texts are:
  • “Biography of Amelia Earhart”
  • “Earhart's Final Resting Place Believed Found”
  • “Amelia Earhart’s Life and Disappearance”
  • Consider the argument each author uses to demonstrate Earhart’s bravery.
  • Write an essay that analyzes the strength of the arguments about Earhart’s bravery in at least two of the texts. Remember to use textual evidence to support your ideas.

Grade 7 Summative Assessment: Prose Constructed Response from Research Simulation Task (Analytical Essay): “Amelia Earhart’s Life and Disappearance”

  • Read the “Biography of Amelia Earhart”
  • Read “Earhart’s Final Resting Place Believed Found”

Grade 10 Summative Assessment: Evidence-Based Selected Response (EBSR) from Literary Analysis Task

  • Read the excerpt from Ovid’s “Daedalus and Icarus”

Grade 10 Summative Assessment: Prose Constructed Response—Sample #1 from Literary Analysis Task

  • Read Anne Sexton’s “To A Friend Whose Work Has Come To Triumph”
  • Read the excerpt from Ovid’s “Daedalus and Icarus”

Grade 10 Summative Assessment:

  • Read Anne Sexton’s “To A Friend Whose Work Has Come To Triumph”
  • Read the excerpt from Ovid’s “Daedalus and Icarus”

How do your assessments compare to these?

  • PARCC is designed to reward
  • quality instruction aligned to the Standards,
  • so the assessment is worthy of preparation
  • rather than a distraction from good work.
  • What kind of instruction is rewarded by your assessments?

How are your assessments developed?

  • PARCC utilizes Evidence-Centered Design

Claims Driving Design: ELA/Literacy

CCSS: 3 Shifts in ELA/Literacy

  • 1. Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction
  • 2. Reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from text, both literary and informational
  • 3. Regular practice with complex text and its academic language

Claims Driving Design: Mathematics

  • Students are on-track or ready for college and careers
  • The CCSS: 3 Shifts in Mathematics
  • 1. Focus strongly where the standards focus.
  • 2. Coherence: Think across grades, and link to major topics.
  • 3. Rigor: In major topics, pursue conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application.

Mathematical Practices

  • Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  • Model with mathematics.
  • Use appropriate tools strategically.
  • Attend to precision.
  • Look for and make sense of structure.
  • Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

PARCC’s Core Commitments to ELA/Literacy Assessment Quality

  • Texts Worth Reading: Authentic texts worthy of study instead of artificially produced or commissioned passages. 
  • Questions Worth Answering: Sequences of questions that draw students into deeper encounters with texts rather than sets of random questions of varying quality.
  • Better Standards Demand Better Questions: Custom items written to the Standards instead of reusing existing items.
  • Fidelity to the Standards: PARCC evidences are rooted in the language of the Standards so that expectations remain the same in both instructional and assessment settings.

PARCC’s Core Commitments to Mathematics Assessment Quality

  • Focus: Items will focus on major, and additional and supporting content.
  • Problems worth doing: Problems will include conceptual questions, applications, multi-step problems and substantial procedures.
  • Better Standards Demand Better Questions: Custom items written to the Standards instead of reusing existing items.
  • Fidelity to the Standards : PARCC evidences are rooted in the language of the Standards so that expectations remain the same in both instructional and assessment settings.

Assessment Transition Timeline Are your assessments transitioning?

  • Spring 2012
  • NJ ASK
  • Aligned to NJCCCS
  • Spring 2013
  • NJ ASK
  • Aligned to the CCSS
  • (except gr 6-8 Math)
  • Spring 2014
  • NJ ASK
  • Aligned to the CCSS
  • SY 2014-15
  • Full administration of PARCC assessments
  • “Transitional Assessments”

PARCC Assessment Design English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics, Grades 3-11

  • End-of-Year
  • Assessment
  • Innovative, computer-based items
  • Required
  • Performance-Based
  • Assessment (PBA)
  • Extended tasks
  • Applications of concepts and skills
  • Required
  • Diagnostic Assessment
  • Early indicator of student knowledge and skills to inform instruction, supports, and PD
  • Non-summative
  • Speaking And Listening
  • Assessment
  • Locally scored
  • Non-summative, required
  • 2 Optional Assessments/Flexible Administration
  • Mid-Year Assessment
  • Performance-based
  • Emphasis on hard-to-measure standards
  • Potentially summative

What gets measured gets managed!

  • Lesson plans
  • Walkthroughs and evaluations: feedback on standards-aligned instruction
  • Data reports: Unit assessment data, walkthrough data

Leverage the Power of PLCs!

  • Create agendas that focus on the “right work.”
  • Engage in on-going collaboration.
  • Put the truth on the table.
  • Administrators attend on a regular basis and provide feedback and support.

Activities to Promote Understanding of the CCSS

  • Review the 10 ELA anchor standards for a grade band
  • Examine the K-12 development of a single anchor standard
  • Review the Appendices
    • Appendix A: Text Complexity
    • Appendix B: Text Exemplars and Student Perf. Tasks
    • Appendix C: Samples of Student Writing
  • Analyze the Model Curriculum and Unit Assessments
  • Study the CCSS math practices

Shifting Gears Resources

  • NJDOE Resources
    • Model Curricula for K-12 Mathematics and ELA
    • Unit Assessments
    • Scaffolds for ELL and Special Education
    • Model lessons, units, videos, materials and resources
    • Assessment bank
    • Educator Resource Website (
  • CCSS;

What new Resources will be provided?

  • September launch of Educator Resource Exchange website!
  • Development of on-line CC professional development modules for teachers and administrators
  • Training videos on high quality early childhood practices
  • A series of videos that address the Shifting Gears topics
  • Monthly dissemination of information (resources, invitations to participate in special projects, free PD opportunities) to Common Core Implementation Teams
  • Comprehensive communication campaign to build awareness
  • Additional SGO exemplars that support quality instruction
  • Identification and sharing of CC “best practices.”
  • Contribute – Rate – Collect – Download – Share
  • What can I do?
  • Educators can:
  • Search for resources and/or browse standards/model curriculum to locate instructional materials
  • Upload a resource to share with fellow educators and general public
  • Rate a resource and view rating (only educators can rate resources)
  • Create a user profile with a “my collections” feature to store and organize favorite resources
  • Access on a mobile device on IOS (Apple) and Android devices.
  • Share resources in social media

What new Professional Development will be offered?

  • Introduction of Model Lesson Awards
  • Training for teachers on the Tri-State Quality Review Rubric and protocols for examining student work
  • Regional trainings for teachers on key CC topics in math and ELA
  • Regional trainings for administrators on curricular and instructional “look fors” in the CC classroom
  • Statewide CC and PARCC trainings for school board members, administrators, teachers, higher ed faculty, parents and the business community
  • Enhanced training and support for Priority and Focus schools
  • SGO training for teachers and administrators

National Parent Teacher Association (PTA)- a grade-by-grade Parent Guide to students’ success on the CCSS

  • National Parent Teacher Association (PTA)- a grade-by-grade Parent Guide to students’ success on the CCSS
  • Council of the Great City Schools- Parent Roadmaps to the Common Core Standards (ELA and Math). Provides guidance to parents about what their children will be learning and how they can support that learning in grades K-8. (Available in English and Spanish)
  • Resources to Support Parents

Obstacles or Opportunities?

  • Culture
  • Capacity
  • Coherence
  • Courage
  • Shouldn't all kids have this experience?

This is our moment.

  • What will you do?

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