8 key recommendations for Common Core online assessments

Key recommendations

1. Create a cross-functional strategic planning team:

  • Make becoming assessment ready a priority for the district
  • Create a cross-functional team, including curriculum, instruction, assessment, finance, professional development and technology to create a strategic plan
  • Build an 18-month roadmap
  • Create a cross-functional response team to respond quickly to issues during the assessment period
  • Proactively collect data from 2014 practice assessments on training, infrastructure, device and preparation
  • Work with individual schools on assessment scheduling

2. Secure funding sources for modern learning environments

  • Create a strategic plan that shifts funding from paper-based practices, resources, staffing and content toward digital-based functions
  • Prioritize operational, categorical, grant and capital funds toward the strategic digital plan
  • Review and consolidate digital resources and assets
  • Adopt OER to help defray costs

3. Embed technology in instructional practice

  • Embed the use of technology throughout lesson delivery
  • Ensure all students are comfortable using computers and applications such as online calculators
  • Ensure early grades have adequate access to technology tools
  • Make assessment a natural part of the teaching and learning environment—not a special event
  • Participate in field tests and pilots and take every opportunity to become familiar with new online assessments

4. Invest in robust professional development for teachers, administrators and technical staff

  • Assure support staff receive adequate training specific to support the classroom test environment
  • Help teachers and students become familiar with the new question format and tools, as the CCSS assessment question format is different than traditional “high stakes” assessments
  • Support teachers and administrators in proactive use of technology to personalize teaching and learning, as this will help them be better prepared for online assessments
  • Create a technology skills roadmap, such as ISTE Standards for Students (formerly NETS), for each grade level; roadmap should address not only technology, but also assessment format
  • Participate in field tests and pilots and take every opportunity to practice with new testing environments

(Next page: Recommendations 5-8)

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