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Daily Dish: New Report on Achievement Standards and Common Core Assessments

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March 08, 2016 04:56 pm


A new report on state achievement standards shows that most states are not setting high, college-ready standards for their students. The findings, released by the American Institutes for Research, examines states’ achievement standards, or “how much the state expects their students to learn in order to reach various levels of academic proficiency,” using the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) as a benchmark. The study looked at the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), and ACT Aspire, which are all Common Core-aligned assessments.

Hechinger Report dove into some of the findings of the study, noting that more than thirty states administered one of the Common Core-aligned tests in 2015, which set a higher standard for proficiency compared to state levels in 2013. However, the study found that there are differences in achievement standards between the three exams, with PARCC setting higher standards than SBAC. None of the three exams require eighth grade students to reach proficient level (as determined by NAEP) in both math and reading. “No one expects a fourth or an eighth grader to be ready for college,” the article explains, “but hitting that proficiency threshold is evidence that the student is on the right track to get there.”

Hechinger Report coverage included color coded maps to give a visual representation of states’ expectations for eighth grade students in math, noting that only seventeen states have set expectations on track with college-ready standards.

Hechinger Report

Check out the full piece for more:

A Straight A’s newsletter article explores two new reports that awarded the PARCC and SBAC assessments top marks for test quality, despite these mixed results for achievement standards. The reports found that these tests more effectively target and assess college- and career-readiness skills, compared to ACT Aspire and the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). Produced by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO), the reports used criteria developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to measure the quality of the tests, including content and ability to assess the depth of student knowledge. For more on the results, read the article:


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