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Common-Core Testing Consortium Hires Tech Director

One of the two major consortia designing tests to match the Common Core State Standards has hired a technology director to try to make sure the ambitious online testing rollout and implementation goes as planned.

Brandt Redd was recently named chief technology officer of Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, which along with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, is moving ahead with plans to establish online exams in 2014-2015.

Redd comes from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—a major backer of the common-core standards—where he served as a senior technology officer for education programs.

He joins Smarter Balanced as states and districts face major questions about their technological capacity to handle the common tests. A recent string of meltdowns in online state assessments has increased the anxiety among policymakers and others.

Redd's hiring was made in partnership with the State Educational Technology Directors Association, the consortium said in a statement, as part of an "ongoing effort to address the technology readiness needs of states for next-generation assessments."

His bio includes having co-founded Folio Corporation, an electronic publishing software company, and Agilix Labs, described as a developer of learning solutions.

In the statement from the Smarter Balanced group, he emphasized the consortium's intent to focus on interim and formative assessments—generally defined as practices designed to determine how well students are learning and to provide feedback to teachers and students.

Redd said his goal is to ensure that the testing system "informs every teacher and student about their progress sufficiently early so that teachers can adapt the learning experience to the needs of each individual."

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