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The Right Trajectory: State Teachers of the Year Compare Former and New State Assessments

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This report focuses on the important issue of assessing our students’ learning through standardized, summative assessments. Utilizing research-based methodologies and practices including Evidence Centered Design, Webb’s Depth of Knowledge, and survey instruments designed for this study, two panels were convened to examine six assessment instruments. Each study panel was composed of State and National Teachers of the Year
and Finalists for State Teacher of the Year. Each panel examined three assessments: two assessments given by states before switching to new state assessments developed by the PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessment consortia and one consortia assessment. The five key findings are:

1. The new consortia assessments better reflect the range of reading and math knowledge and skills that all students should master.

2. The new consortia assessments include items that better reflect the full range of cognitive complexity in a balanced way.

3. The new consortia assessments better align with the kinds of strong instructional practices these expert teachers believe should be used in the classroom, and thereby better support great teaching and learning throughout the school year.

4. The new consortia assessments provide information relevant to a wide range of performers, particularly moderate and high-performers.

5. While the new consortia assessments are more rigorous and demanding, they are grade-level appropriate, and even more so than prior state tests

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