WHAT ARE THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS?
Panama-Buena Vista Union School District educators have joined the national Common Core State Standards (CCSS) movement to adopt common standards and assessments for English language arts and mathematics. The CCSS initiative was launched and supported by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association. Prior to the development of the CCSS, expectations for what students should know and be able to do varied among states, as did the difficulty of the assessments used to determine whether students were meeting those standards.
Once fully implemented across the nation, these common learning goals will provide a clear vision of what educators and parents in all states can expect for all students. The CCSS define what students are expected to learn as they advance from kindergarten through grade 12. Benchmarked against international standards, the CCSS help prepare students to succeed in a global economy, meet college and work expectations, and apply higher level thinking skills. New assessments that are aligned to the CCSS have been developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to help teachers and parents accurately measure student progress.
Plans for the implementation of the CCSS are under way in the District with the new standards and assessments scheduled to begin in the fall of 2014.HOW WILL STUDENTS BE ASSESSED?
This spring, the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District, along with thousands of schools across California, are participating in a field test of a modern assessment system designed to help shape teaching and learning in the classroom. Known as the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress – or CAASPP – these computer-based tests replace the STAR program.
These tests are aligned to the Common Core State Standards for English and math, which California adopted in 2010 to describe what knowledge and skills students need to be well prepared for college and careers, no matter where they come from or where they live.
Part of the goal of the field test this year is to determine how well individual questions allow students to demonstrate what they know and still need to learn. We are also taking this opportunity to see how well our technical capabilities meet the demands of computer-based assessments and to see what resources our teachers and school may yet need.
Finally and importantly, this year also gives your student an opportunity to try out the new system without consequences. All of this combined means that we will not be capturing scores this year. Instead, we will use what we learn from this field test to help ensure a successful full launch of the system in the 2014-15 school year.
If you would like more information, please visit the California Department of Education Smarter Balanced Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sa/smarterfieldtest.asp.
- Smarter Balanced Factsheet for Parents: http://www.smarterbalanced.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Smarter-Balanced-Parents-Factsheet.pdf
Smarter Balanced Practice Test for Students: http://sbac.portal.airast.org/Practice-Test/