Originally posted on http://www.acuityccr.com.
Educational standards are constantly changing, and it’s difficult to keep up with what’s expected of your students. These standards affect what your students should know by the end of each grade level. Therefore, summative exams have changed to ensure that they are accurately measuring what students have learned. Since the Common Core State Standards were introduced, it’s important for educators to understand how the standards affect both testing and teaching at your school. Your school’s testing and test preparation may be affected, even if your state or school district doesn’t adopt the Common Core standards.
As administrators, you still decide what materials and lesson plans to use, regardless of your state standards. In fact, adopting the state standards is voluntary. How students are assessed is separate from the Common Core and up to each state or school district to decide.
Whether your school follows these state standards or not, the point of testing is to make sure that your students are prepared to succeed in their futures. Two consortia have been established by the participating states to develop assessments: the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced). These consortia are working to develop tests that are supposed to measure critical thinking and be more engaging than traditional multiple-choice tests. States that decide not to participate in these tests can create and use a different set of assessments.
One way to ensure students are prepared for this new generation of summative assessments is to conduct Acuity® College and Career Readiness interim assessments. Districts may choose to administer Acuity CCR up to three times per year, in September, December, and February, to measure student products. These interim assessments provide results designed to inform teaching and learning before the summative assessments. Learn more about Acuity to see how you can help your students prepare for success.