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News Brief

10/01/13

State Chiefs Set Criteria for 'High-Quality' Assessment

Education Week (10/01/13) Gewertz, Catherine

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has issued guidelines for test makers creating assessments for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in mathematics and English/language arts, urging them to adhere to key principles to create high quality assessments. A good test for math must gauge a balance of concepts, procedures, and applications and link math reasoning and practices to its content, while a good test for English must assess both reading and writing and be based on "a balance" of literature and informational text. The guidelines issued by CCSSO also outline how assessment practice should ensure test accessibility and security, create user-friendly reports that chart students' progress, and provide data that can help guide instruction. CCSSO Executive Director Chris Minnich says that regardless of whether states use the consortia assessments or tests, they "must remain committed to ensuring that their students are taking high-quality assessments. States will adhere to a set of principles to ensure the assessments they select are meeting the high bar they expect. The principles included herein are intended to be used as a tool to help states hold themselves and their assessments accountable for high quality." The tests should examine higher-order thinking skills, especially those that are transferable and relate to applying knowledge to new contexts; provide "high fidelity" evaluation of those higher-order skills, such as through researching and presenting arguments; be internationally benchmarked to align assessment content and measurement practices with those used in leading nations; use "instructionally sensitive" items that reflect how well teachers are teaching and give them useful guidance on how to improve; and be valid, reliable, and fair, as well as accessible to all learners.
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This news brief was summarized for Chiefline, CCSSO's weekly newsletter. Click here to receive Chiefline in your inbox weekly. Newsbrief Copyright 2012 INFORMATION, INC.