Common Core Assessment a ‘New Way’ to Define Success
The Role of the Common Core Assessment:-
· It helps in enhancing the learning, reading and understanding skills.
· It says that ‘Skills are important, but one cannot learn skills in the nonfigurative picture and imagination’.
· Skills must be tied to content if they are to be learned effectively.
· It has a potential to boost both skills & knowledge by using sequenced, spiraled & content-rich curriculum in the classroom.
By reading texts in history/social studies, science, and other disciplines; students build a foundation of knowledge in these fields. It will also give them the background to be better readers in all content areas. Students can only gain this foundation when the curriculum is purposefully and logically structured to develop rich content knowledge within and across grades.
A Better Path: For Success
This is by no means a simple task to arrange the entire curriculum in an organized manner. It is likely that it would result, at least temporarily, in an even greater inequality in scores between our advantaged and disadvantaged students. Thus, such a shift would need to be strongly signaled and carefully phased in over time. Nevertheless, the redesigned tests would eventually reflect a more honest account of where we stand, allowing us to build a system of instruction and assessment that would far better serve generations of disadvantaged students.
First, in selecting passages and questions, test designers need to include rich textual extracts that are not entirely soothing. If we want to teach serious texts for serious reasons, we must test seriously too.
Second, test designers should use the assessments to send even stronger signals about curriculum. Many countries write exams that specify multiple periods of history to be studied and then give students the choice to answer questions on those. This model has the advantage of specifying at least a portion of the curriculum explicitly, ensuring that it meets standards of rigor, complexity, and richness.
Executing a structure like this will not be easy. At a recent gathering of senior education policymakers in New York, Linda Bevilacqua, President of the Core Knowledge Foundation, asked policymakers to support the concept of articulating domains that would be tested. No one took her up on the suggestion. But she was right: transforming tests in this way would be the best way to help lift curricula to a consistently rigorous and effective level. In the decentralized approach to education that is so characteristically American, the system, sadly, does not provide many other alternatives.
This is the surest way to improve education outcomes for all students – especially the most disadvantaged. If we get them right, these new assessments can make a vital contribution to the promise of the Common Core; if not, that promise will be seriously exposed.