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Common Assessments: Comparing the Proposals

If you are interested in the assessments being designed for the common standards, you might find a couple of new publications of interest. They offer distilled versions of the plans being pursued by the two big consortia of states designing the tests.

True, you might already have read the proposals submitted by the two groups in their applications for Race to the Top assessment funding. But I'm betting that few of you are wonky enough to have waded through those lengthy documents (even though I've given you shortcuts to the sections that detail the test-design ideas).

Whether or not you've cracked open the actual RTT applications, these new publications offer some nice guidance to the two proposals, and they do it without dragging you through hundreds of pages of copy. They also detail the similarities and differences between the two sets of plans.

One report comes from the Aspen Institute, which also hosted a panel discussion about the proposals with representatives from each consortium (you can watch the video of that 90-minute presentation, too, if you wish.).

The other comes from the ETS' Center for K-12 Assessment & Performance, the same folks who have already produced graphic and Power-Point depictions of the two consortia's testing proposals. (All of these resources, along with the newest report, "Coming Together To Raise Achievement," are available at the Center's publications page.)

If you haven't already gotten familiar with what these two groups of states have in mind for assessment systems, it's time. They have the potential to shift the testing landscape in most states.

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