We did an issue with a focus on the Common Core State Standards a year ago, singling out what I’ll call a “subfocus” for our coverage. Namely, the CCSS and the arts in K–12 education. As people inside and outside of the education community take positions pro and con on the subject of the standards, our hope was, and is, to shed some light on one or another educational issue in the context of those standards. Last year, it was the arts. This year, it’s assessment.
And so we asked our Tools for Learning feature contributor, Victor Rivero, to look around at current offerings intended to aid educators in assessing how their students are doing at meeting the standards … and at achieving the standards’ goal of ensuring students graduate college- or career-ready. By extension, of course, such tools, if effective, aid educators in assessing how well they are doing at teaching in the Common Core era.
Victor gives a nod to the continuing concern swirling around the issue of the standards, noting that they “first appeared (or reared their ugly head, depending on our take) in 2009 as an initiative of the National Governor’s Association and the council of Chief State Schools Officers,” and that “[a] half-dozen states have yet to adopt” them. But, he states, “like them or not, after years of development and adoption, 2014–15 marks implementation year for CCSS; two different assessment consortia, PARCC and Smarter Balanced, move them forward.”
And so, with a “let’s get on with it” attitude, even as we all discuss the standards, Victor highlights a dozen assessment solutions for you to assess. See Tools and Tactics to Measure Students’ Mastery of the common Core Standards on page 4.
Then, to complement that coverage, we provide a deeper look at several Common Core Standards-oriented assessment platforms in this month’s reviews section. See reviews of Edulastic, MasteryConnect, and CTB/McGraw-Hill Education’s Acuity Online Assessments, starting on page 14.
David Hoffman , editor