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Calling All Teachers: An Invitation to Help Design Common-Core Tools

Unless you've slept through most of your visits to Curriculum Matters, you know already that two big groups of states are using federal Race to the Top money to design tests for the new common standards. Both have pledged to give teachers a prominent role in helping shape those tests.

In that vein, one of the two consortia has put out a procurement solicitation for help developing teams of teacher-leaders. These teachers would wear two hats, according to what officials from PARCC have said previously: they would become ambassadors of sorts for PARCC's assessment system, helping colleagues around their state understand and use it. And they would help the consortium design instructional resources to bridge the tests with the common standards on which they're based.

All of this is detailed in PARCC's Invitation to Negotiate (that's what they call a request for proposals in Florida, which is PARCC's fiscal agent) here.

You'll notice that the help that PARCC seeks through this ITN is not about making tests. It's to "support the PARCC states' transition to and long term success of the Common Core State Standards." It's easy to forget that these assessment consortia are not just making tests. They are working on constellations of stuff that are meant to build a bridge from the standards to the tests. That's a lot of stuff in between, including curriculum resources like model instructional units. (But goodness knows, they've steered clear of saying they are designing complete curricula. Delicate subject.)

This transition-to-standards work is something that both consortia won $30 million in additional Race to the Top money to do. In case any of you have forgotten, both groups submitted supplemental applications to do this kind of work. We wrote about their plans here.

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