- Transitioning curriculum and instruction
- Transitioning assessment systems
To prepare teachers and students for the next generation of assessments based on the Common Core, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has developed two innovative pilot initiatives: Formative Assessment in Middle School (FAMS) and the Ohio Performance Assessment Pilot Project (OPAPP) for early elementary and high school grades. These highly innovative pilot programs are designed to create infrastructure to help teachers provide more formatively useful feedback to their students, thereby improving teaching and learning. This session will describe each of these programs, as well as present the results from an independent evaluation conducted by the American Institutes for Research.
A firm supporter of the Common Core State Standards, the state of Ohio adopted the Common Core in English language arts and mathematics, as well as more rigorous versions of Ohio's academic content standards in science and social studies in 2010. Since, then, Ohio has been an active participant in the two state-led consortia: the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) which are developing assessments aligned to the Common Core, and Ohio has committed to implementing PARCC-developed assessments in 2014−2015. To prepare teachers and students for the Common Core State Standards and their new assessments, ODE is using the FAMS and OPAPP pilot projects to create new tools to improve teaching and learning.
The ultimate objective of the FAMS pilot project is to create a system of formative assessment practices in middle school mathematics and ELA that is aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The system will serve two purposes:
- Changing teacher practice by training teachers to think and act more formatively, allowing them to become more effective in their classroom instruction
- Changing student practice by actively involving students in their own learning
The end result will be a portfolio of successful formative assessment strategies and practices that are aligned with the Common Core which will be housed on ODE’s website and made available for use by teachers across the state.
The goals of OPAPP are to develop:
- a portfolio of field-tested performance tasks that can be used for both formative and summative purposes
- a system of task development, scoring, delivery, and associated professional development, that can be sustained beyond the pilot project
Through OPAPP, the state is developing and piloting the Ohio Task Dyad System consisting of rich learning tasks (the formative component), many of which last multiple days, and corresponding online performance assessment tasks (a summative component) designed to measure what students have learned through completing the learning tasks.
To provide formative guidance to improve the development of these two projects, ODE contracted with the American Institutes for Research to conduct an evaluation of the pilots. The evaluation provides ongoing feedback to support modifications and improvements to the pilots as they are unfolding, as well as a summative analysis of the effectiveness of the programs.
The proposed session will include a presentation on the workings of FAMS and OPAPP, as well as the findings from the independent evaluation. The presentations will be followed by comments from the discussant, a national expert in formative assessment as well as a conversation moderated by a senior official in curriculum and assessment at ODE. The session is designed to allow participants to learn about the innovative pilots ODE is using to prepare for the Common Core, and the lessons they have learned in the process of developing these innovative support structures.