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Five Things You Didn't Know About Illinois' PARCC Assessments

Posted by David Moadel

Jun 23, 2015 5:47:00 PM

 

Content standards inform what teachers teach by defining what students must learn. With this in mind, the Illinois State Board of Education took a big step in 2010 when it joined more than 40 states in adopting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), thereby crystallizing the state's proficiency expectations for its public school students2010 was also the year in which Illinois adopted the new Illinois Learning Standards in English/language arts and math. 

Full implementation of the CCSS in Illinois in 2013-2014 meant that new standardized assessments were warranted, and as a result, 2014 saw the transition from the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) to the state's new Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments. 

It's a new generation of assessments for a state and a nation that demands it, but what do we know about Illinois' latest round of tests?  The five facts below are meant to shine some light on what the IL PARCC assessments are all about.

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Topics: Implementing the Common Core, Resources, State News

Five Things You Didn't Know About the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP)

Posted by David Moadel

Jun 22, 2015 8:18:00 AM

 

2010 was a banner year for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), since it was the year in which so many states adopted these standards and made them an integral part of public school education.  

CCSS adoption took place in the great state of Michigan in 2010, signaling a commitment to high standards of learning for K-12 students. With the 44-year-old Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) still in place, however, the state's legislature and the Michigan Department of Education decided it was time to step it up—hence the advent of the M-STEP, or Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress.

The decision was made in June 2014 and the new assessments were rolled out in spring of 2015, thus requiring Michigan's public school students, parents, and educators to adapt to these new tests in a relatively short period of time. 

Given the pace and significance of this change, it's worth taking a look at some facts and figures that you might not already know about the M-STEP. 

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Topics: Implementing the Common Core, Resources, State News

Five Things You Didn't Know About Wisconsin's Smarter Balanced Assessments

Posted by David Moadel

Jun 21, 2015 10:18:00 AM

 

Wisconsin public K-12 education has the same issues and challenges that face so many large-scale instructional systems, namely, assessments and accountability. To address these challenges, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has utilized various standardized tests throughout the years, from the Wisconsin Pupil Assessment Program in the 1970s and 1980s, to the Wisconsin Reading Comprehension Test (WRCT) of the 1990s. 

The year 1998 brought a new set of academic content standards to the state of Wisconsin, known as the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards (WMAS). During this decade we also saw the advent of the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examinations (WKCEs), which were then superseded in recent years by assessments developed in partnership with the consortium known as Smarter Balanced (SBAC). 

It can be hard to keep up with all of these changes, which is why we've compiled this list of five interesting facts that you may not know about Wisconsin's Smarter Balanced assessments.

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Topics: Implementing the Common Core, Resources, State News

Five Things You Didn't Know About Pennsylvania's PSSA State Assessments

Posted by David Moadel

Jun 20, 2015 2:48:00 PM

 

Educational standards matter to students, parents, educators, and the nation as a whole. They also matters to the individual states, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education has shown a long-standing commitment to high standards for all of its K-12 public school students. 

Joining the group of states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards in 2010 was thus a natural move for Pennsylvania, but doing this created a need for testing that would align to these challenging new academic expectations.

Rather than start from scratch, the state adapted a series of exams that were already in place: the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), which dates back to the earliest years of the millennium as a response to No Child Left Behind (NCLB). 

Over the years, the PSSA has developed into a progressively tougher criterion-referenced battery of assessments aimed at measuring student academic proficiency. With a longer history than many statewide standardized tests, the PSSA serves as a fascinating subject of study as we explore five things you might not know about these assessments.

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Topics: Implementing the Common Core, Resources, State News

Five Things You Didn't Know About the Georgia Milestones Assessments

Posted by David Moadel

Jun 20, 2015 6:54:00 AM

 

As teachers and policymakers know, educational standards and statewide assessments go hand in hand. In Georgia, you certainly won't find statewide public K-12 school assessments that aren't based on specific, rigorous standards, and a prime case in point is the Milestones Assessments. 

These assessments were adopted by the Georgia Department of Education as a replacement for the previously used Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCTs) for elementary and middle school students, and End of Course Tests (EOCTs) for high school students. 

The new assessments, which are aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that Georgia adopted in 2010, were rolled out during the 2014-2015 school year for grades 3 through high school.

Since that school year has now come and gone, we can look back and reflect on what we know about the exams. As we'll see in the following five facts, this is unlike any other group of assessments we've ever seen in the state of Georgia.

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Topics: Implementing the Common Core, Resources, State News

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