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SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium

Rethinking Assessment: Trusting Teachers to Evaluate Student Learning

Many educators are hoping that through the Common Core State Standards, teaching and assessment can focus more on problem-solving and the process of getting to an answer. But even those process-oriented skills will be assessed with a standardized test. The benefits of the harder-to-quantify skills aren't easily disentangled from academic achievement scores, making it hard to prove through tests that alternative teaching and learning styles can achieve measurable outcomes.

Report: Federal Rules Impede Competency-Based Learning

Competency-based learning, which allows students to progress at their own pace after they’ve shown mastery of a subject, rather than by their age, is quickly gaining momentum. Already, a few states like New Hampshire, Maine, and Oregon are moving towards implementing competency-based learning models throughout the entire state. What’s more, 40 states have at least … Continue reading Report: Federal Rules Impede Competency-Based Learning →

Will the New Online Standardized Tests Be Different?

By Sarah Garland New high-tech standardized tests are coming soon to schools across the country, but will these new tests really revolutionize how we measure whether children are learning? The designers of the new tests, which a majority of states plan to adopt in two years, are allowing a sneak peek at sample questions. Two … Continue reading Will the New Online Standardized Tests Be Different? →

Beyond the Bubble Test: How Will We Measure Learning in the Future?

Last September, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced: “Today is a great day! I have looked forward to this day for a long time–and so have America’s teachers, parents, students, and school leaders.” Duncan was excited about a new way of testing students, one that goes “beyond the bubble test,” the standardized assessments students take … Continue reading Beyond the Bubble Test: How Will We Measure Learning in the Future? →

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