Ed Week's Catherine Gewertz offers a brief glimpse at the common core assessment items from Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC) in a recent article - Consortia Provide Preview of Common Assessments.
The good news -
“What we are starting to see here are tests that really get at a deeper understanding on the part of students, not just superficial knowledge,” said Robert L. Linn, an assessment expert and professor emeritus of education at the University of Colorado at Boulder who reviewed a sampling of the consortia’s materials. “But unless students are really prepared for them, it’s going to be a huge challenge.”
The bad news - writing up thousands of items that can accomplish the goals is extremely difficult in the allotted time.
It seems that SBAC has released more items so far this summer but PARCC will be releasing some by the end of August! Teachers want to see the items so they can have a better feel for the changes they need to make in the classroom. With the teachers we trained this summer and our PARCC Educator Leader Cadre members we have met, they are all ready to change, they just need to know more about the expectations for students.