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December 2012/January 2013 | Volume 70 | Number 4
Common Core: Now What?
Nancy A. Doorey
How two Common Core assessment consortia were created—and how they compare.
A short 27 months ago, two groups of U.S. states were each awarded more than $175 million to design, develop, and pilot test a new generation of assessments (U.S. Department of Education, 2010). These new tests will replace assessments in English language arts and mathematics in grades 3–8 and high school that are currently in use within state and federal accountability systems. They will measure individual student growth toward college and career readiness and provide data that can inform decisions regarding teaching and learning, program improvement, and educator effectiveness. The systems will be ready for use in the 2014–15 school year—about two years from now.
Why did the U.S. Department of Education fund the development of two different systems—the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers1
(PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium2
(Smarter Balanced)? Certainly both groups submitted high-quality proposals. Some observers predicted that at least two consortia would receive funds to allay fears of a "national assessment" and of usurpation of local control over the curriculum. Whatever the reason, the two systems offer unique attributes and are working together to bring about substantive advances in K–12 testing, scoring, and reporting.
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Copyright © 2012 by ASCD
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