I’ve been wondering what assessments based on the Common Core standards might look like, and now there are samples available. Two groups of states, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (includes Vermont) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers (PARCC), are working on test development. This article from Education Week includes links to sample test items from both consortia. I’m working with a slow connection and no printer at the moment, so I’ve only seen a few items, but I’m intrigued so far.
The article is about both Mathematics and English Language Arts assessments. At a gathering of mathematics educators earlier this week sponsored by the Vermont Department of Education, several people pointed out that elementary school teachers will be moving to the Common Core in both areas, and that there’s some risk that mathematics will play second fiddle, as has happened in the past, at least in these educators’ experience. Whether or not that’s a substantial risk, it seems worthwhile for math people to pay attention to what’s happening in ELA and look for common ground. For example, “the greatest departure from current state testing practice is the inclusion of performance tasks, which engage students in more complex, prolonged exercises.” This applies to both realms, and the ELA example cited in the article is impressive, as is the math one.