Transition to the Common Core—Experience From the New York State

Friday, June 21, 2013: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
National Harbor 6 (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
Content Strands:
  1. Transitioning assessment systems
Starting in spring 2013, New York’s 3–8 assessment program will be fully aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Led by the Regents Reform Agenda and the vision to better prepare students for colleges and work place, New York State developed and distributed many instructional materials and resources to help prepare the field with the transition. In the meantime, much work has gone into the development of the first fully CCSS-aligned assessment. During this session, representatives from New York State will present on the experience of building the first fully CCSS-aligned assessment from various perspectives including the vision for the transition, item development effort, and setting performance standards.

Moderator/Session Facilitator – Dr. Ye Tong, Director of Psychometrics, Pearson

The moderator will provide a general overview of the session, set the stage for the presentations, and introduce the presenters.

The Regents Reform Agenda—Dr. Kristen Huff, Senior Fellow, Regents Research Fund

The presenter will walk the audience through New York’s Regents Reform Agenda, share New York’s vision, and their experience and plan for the reform:

  • Adopting Common Core standards and developing curriculum and assessments aligned to these standards to prepare students for success in college and the work place
  • Building instructional data systems that measure student success and inform teachers and principals how they can improve their practice in real time
  • Recruiting, developing, retaining and rewarding effective teachers and principals
  • Turning around the lowest-achieving schools

Item Development: Measuring Common Core with Fidelity—Dr. Jason Schweid, Fellow, Regents Research Fund

Because the Common Core standards are new, the experts in the field are still on the learning curve around how and which Common Core standards can be measured and to what degree. The presenter will share New York’s valuable experience on item development given practical constraints. During this presentation, the following topics will be addressed:

  • Development of the blueprint and test design for the Common Core assessment
  • Selection criteria for passages and items
  • Rubric development
  • Measuring the standards from multiple perspectives

College Readiness and Its Empirical Definition for the Assessment—Dr. Peter Swerdzewski, Fellow, Regents Research Fund

New York formally adopted the performance level claims and definitions proposed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), along with its empirical definition for college readiness. Using a variety of external benchmark studies, New York empirically defines college readiness and incorporates those studies into the performance standard setting process. The studies include:

  • College readiness empirically defined by college entrance course grades at the State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY)
  • College readiness empirically defined by college entrance course grades at 150 public and private colleges across the country
  • College readiness empirically defined by SAT and its associated college readiness benchmarks

Setting Performance Standards for the Common Core Assessment—Drs. Sz-Shyan Wu and Ming Xu, State Psychometrician, New York State Education Department

The presenter will share the evidence-based standard setting process with the audience. Both content and policy considerations, as well as the use of empirical data to inform the standard setting, will be addressed. The following aspects will be discussed:

  • Incorporation of external benchmark study results into the Bookmark methodology
  • Inclusion of both content experts and policy experts in the standard setting process
  • Reference points and their use for the rigor of the assessment
  • Use of a background vertical scale to facilitate discussions of performance levels across grades

Discussant: A member of the leadership of another state’s office of assessment

The discussant will share their perspective in assessment transition to the common core.