Contact: Katie Peters
Washington, D.C. – The transition to the Common Core State Standards offers an important opportunity to replace America’s flawed and misaligned assessment system with better and fairer tests, according to a new report released today by the Center for American Progress.
“Our current education standards and assessments system is broken and failing to equip our students with the skills they need to be competitive in the global economy,” said Melissa Lazarín, Managing Director for Education Policy at the Center for American Progress. “The Common Core State Standards and assessments allow us to right the wrongs of the past. As thousands of students across the country are engaged in field testing of the new Common Core-aligned assessments, the recommendations in this report could not be more timely.”
To ensure all students are prepared for success after graduation, the Common Core State Standards establish a set of clear, consistent guidelines for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level in math and English. Forty-five states have adopted and are moving forward with the new standards. The Common Core State Standards were created in response to the shortcomings of the No Child Left Behind, or NCLB, standards and assessments. Among those failings were the poor quality of content standards and assessments and the variability in content expectations and proficiency targets across states, as well as concerns related to the economic competitiveness of the nation’s future workforce. The low-quality assessments from the No Child Left Behind era also dramatically undermined the law, contributing to its negative, unintended consequences.
The report released today, authored by Morgan S. Polikoff, assistant professor of education at the University of Southern California, encourages the states, districts, and policymakers moving forward with Common Core implementation to learn important lessons from the past as they work to develop new assessment systems. The paper lays out some of the challenges facing test developers and policymakers in the Common Core era, including technical and political issues.
The remainder of the report is focused on making recommendations to help address the challenges and head off serious assessment implementation problems. The proposed recommendations include both political and technical activities on the part of test developers, state and district policymakers and leaders, federal policymakers, and Common Core assessment consortia members. If met, these recommendations can quell many of the concerns about the Common Core, the new assessments, and the new accountability systems.
These recommendations include:
Read the report: Common Core State Standards Assessments by Morgan S. Polikoff
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