New Jersey among 24 states working on computer-directed, performance-based testing in math and language arts
TRENTON, N.J. — August 15, 2011 — Student assessment will be substantially different by 2014, a result of the Common Core State Standards Initiative that seeks to create national benchmarks for math and language arts proficiency. The new standards will require more frequent and more comprehensive testing,including computer-directed performance-based tasks, according to the NewJersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA).
“Schools that are working to develop more effective assessments to measure student progress and teacher effectiveness will need to take these changes into account,” noted Dr. Richard Bozza, Executive Director of the NJASA.
TheCommon Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and theCouncil of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Forty-eight states, two territories and the District of Columbia have adopted the standards; Alaska and Texas have not. The standards are designed to be relevant to the real world,reflecting knowledge and skills that students need for success in college and careers. Their goal is to make U.S. schools globally competitive.
Developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, the standards are designed to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare students for college and the workforce. No state will lower its standards to comply with the national norm but rather will build upon the most advanced current thinking.
NewJersey is part of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College andCareers (PARCC), one of two national assessment programs being funded by the federal government as part of its Race to the Top Program. PARCC is charged with developing assessments that states can use with the Common Core State Standards.
The new tests will be dramatically different from traditional assessment, according to the NJASA. They will include performance-based tasks over two days instead of multiple choice or short answer fill-in questions.
“This is the future of assessment,” noted Dr. Bozza. “It’s how we’ll be able to develop our students so that they can compete globally.”
The Common Core State Standards will have another favorable effect, according toNJASA. “In the past, we’ve had 50 different sets of state standards, covering different topics at different grade levels,” Dr. Bozza added. “A common set of standards will provide the opportunity to more accurately compare the achievement of students across state lines.”
TheNew Jersey Association of School Administrators is an organization of chief education officers and school administrators who lead school districts in NewJersey’s 21 counties. The association’s mission is to ensure a superior statewide system of education. Through ongoing professional training and education, the association shares knowledge among its members about best practices from both educational and administrative perspectives. Its goal is to move education forward by ensuring the highest quality of instruction for all NewJersey children.