ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
As the deadline for Common Core State Standards (CCSS) implementation approaches, more questions are being asked about the development and requirements of the Standards. The Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE) has produced a publication titled "Common Core State Standards 101," which may be the best documentation of the CCSS movement and what the standards do. It also directly addresses some of the false criticism the CCSS have received.
This document can be used to answer your own or others' questions about the CCSS. Some mischaracterizations of the Standards have appeared in blogs and other media as opponents are working to oppose the CCSS. It's important to know the facts.
ACTE became an endorsing partner of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in 2009. We signed on because, even though the Common Core State Standards are focused on English language arts and mathematics, a foundation of academic knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge is critical for career readiness. The fact that CCSS was and remains a state-led movement emphasizing "real world" application has been an important part of our support along the way.
Posted by Steve DeWitt on 08/29/2013 at 03:05 PM in Standards and Assessments | Permalink
Over the last year, ACTE has been in conversation with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) as the organization begins the process of revising its national CTE Standards. ACTE featured the work during our National Policy Seminar and are pleased to announce NBPTS will be hosting a breakout session during CareerTech VISION 2013. This is an important process which has great implications for the CTE profession.
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is accepting applications for the committee responsible for reviewing and revising Career and Technical Education Standards. To access the online application go to http://www.nbpts.org/standards-revision. The application will be available starting July 15 through August 9, 2013.
Please visit the NBPTS website for information about the duties and responsibilities of standards committee members. ACTE encourages all interested individuals to apply. For assistance or additional information please contact the National Board at email@example.com.
Posted by Steve DeWitt on 07/19/2013 at 03:06 PM in Standards and Assessments | Permalink
On May 24, Rhode Island's State Board of Education unanimously adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The NGSS are being developed by 26 states (AZ, AR, CA, DE, GA, IL, IA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MT, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OR, RI, SD, TN, VT and WA) and, similar to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and mathematics, are focused on identifying common standards to provide greater comparability across states.
The Standards are organized by three categories: Science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts, and are much more contextual than many existing state standards. Developers say the NGSS are much more aligned with the way that students learn in the 21st century. An interactive version of the is now available online allowing searches and organization of content.
Kentucky and Maine are the next states expected to approve the NGSS later this spring.
Posted by Steve DeWitt on 05/29/2013 at 03:07 PM in Standards and Assessments | Permalink
ACTE and America's Promise Alliance are co-hosting a webinar on May 21 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. ET titled "Oregon's Trail: How the State Integrates Career and Technical Education into Common Core Implementation."
The webinar will feature Jennell Ives and Tom Thompson with the Oregon Department of Education's Secondary-Postsecondary Transitions Office who will explain how career and technical education (CTE) has become an integral partner in the state's Common Core efforts. Through an examination of resources like Math-in-CTE, the webinar will provide information on how CTE can live in and enhance the Common Core efforts in your state.
Oregon's Common Core work was featured in the Achieve publication, "Common Core State Standards and Career and Technical Education: Bridging the Divide between College and Career Readiness." published in May 2012. Last spring, ACTE and America's Promise collaborated to host a similar webinar featuring Missouri's work.
Register now to reserve your spot for the webinar. More information can be found on the ACTE webinar page.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 05/03/2013 at 10:38 AM in Standards and Assessments, State and Local Issues | Permalink
Both the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) consortium held separate events in Washington to update organizations on recent activities. Following are highlights of recent activity:
On April 29, SBAC released its finalized Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs) and College Content-Readiness Policy. The ALDs articulate the knowledge, skills, and processes expected of students at different levels of performance on the Smarter Balanced assessments and are similar to the College and Career Ready Determinations (CCRDs) developed by PARCC (For more info on PARCC's CCRDs read here and here).
In addition to the ALDs, SBAC has been pilot testing its assessments and is developing a set of formative assessment tools and resources for teachers which will be included in an online digital library to launch in 2014. State networks of educators will be charged with providing feedback and guidance on the resources. More information about the development of the Digital Library can be found here.
On April 22, Alaska joined SBAC as an Advisory state, an interesting development since Alaska was one of four states which did not adopt the Common Core State Standards. Alaska's participation in SBAC brings the total number of SBAC-participating states to 26.
On April 30 PARCC released assessment blueprints and test specifications for both its English language arts/literacy and mathematics assessments. The materials are intended to support teachers and will include literacy rubrics to guide thinking about classroom rubric use, English Language Arts (ELA)/literacy passage selection guidelines and worksheets to guide text selection for instruction. PARCC says the tools will help teachers better understand the design of the ELA and math assessments and provide more insight into the planned reporting categories.
For more information on the assessment blueprints and test specifications, including narrated overview PowerPoints and an FAQ document, visit http://www.parcconline.org/assessment-blueprints-test-specs.
Achieve, the managing partner of PARCC, has also developed a guide titled "On the Road to Implementation: Achieving the Promise for the Common Core State Standards," for state and district policymakers to use as they implement Common Core. There are specific references to technical subjects throughout the document.
In mid-April, PARCC released its draft accommodations manual for public comment, which helps local educations select, administer and evaluate accommodations for the assessment of students with disabilities. From April 18 through May 13, 2013, the draft PARCC Accommodations Manual and a feedback survey will be posted on the PARCC website for the public to provide feedback, along with a set of Frequently Asked Questions.
Posted by Steve DeWitt on 04/30/2013 at 03:09 PM in Standards and Assessments | Permalink
On April 9, the final Next Generation Science Standards were released. These standards, modeled after the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics, are touted as "voluntary, rigorous, and internationally benchmarked standards for K-12 science education."
The National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve managed the effort to develop the standards along with 26 states. The standards are based on a Framework for K-12 Science Educationdeveloped previously, and "identify science and engineering practices and content that all K-12 students should master in order to be fully prepared for college, careers and citizenship."
Active learning and practice are key themes of the standards, as is an emphasis on critical thinking - all key elements of career readiness. Engineering also plays a more prominent role in the standards, with key science and engineering practices defined as:
In a blog story that appeared on U.S. News & World Report's website, National Science Teachers Association Executive Director said, "The way I imagine that it might play out is that there will be more hands-on time for students....There will be deeper investigations into the smaller number of ideas, and perhaps even a better opportunity for students to formulate some of the experiments themselves."
CTE educators have long been focused on hands-on, applied learning and students' active engagement in learning, so will have valuable insight to share as the standards are adopted and implemented around the country.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 04/16/2013 at 11:41 AM in Standards and Assessments | Permalink
On January 8, the second and final public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) was released. Comment on the draft will be accepted until January 29 and the final standards are expected to be released in March.
The NGSS are being developed based on the National Research Council’s A Framework for K-12 Science Education. The Framework defined scientific literacy for all K-12 students by identifying Science and Engineering Practice, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas that will enable all student to make scientifically sound decisions about the world in which they live. One of the goals of the NGSS is to ensure that students apply their learning through scientific inquiry and the engineering-design process to deepen their understanding. Career and technical education advocates seeking to provide input on the NGSS should note that the standards include a definition of college and career readiness in science.
There are 26 states leading the NGSS development but those states are not obligated to adopt the standards once they are developed and finalized. ACTE is planning to submit comments on the draft standards and we encourage CTE advocates to provide a copy of any comments they submit, which will help inform ACTE’s response. Please forward comment to Stephen DeWitt.
Posted by Steve DeWitt on 01/09/2013 at 12:21 PM in Standards and Assessments | Permalink
Since a lot of career and technical educators were out of school over the summer, it is worth repeating that ACTE and America’s Promise held a Webinar in June featuring the work of the Missouri Center for Career Education (MCCE). The Webinar and slides from the presentation can be viewed on the ACTE Common Core Web page. New materials were added to the MCCE Website this month. Be sure to view the cross-curricular examples while you are on the site, which were referenced in the Webinar.
Teacher professional development and the need to support educators to ensure their comfort level with the Common Core State Standards and assessments has been a topic of concern often mentioned in the Common Core discussions and meetings in which I have participated. ASCD has released EduCore online teaching tools. While these materials are primarily intended for core subject matter educators, CTE educators may also find the materials valuable. If you have suggestions of how to make the Web information more CTE-applicable, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, let me know what you would like to see on ACTE's Common Core Web page.
There are several Common Core-related sessions planned for CareerTech Vision 2012 including a one-hour briefing from the two assessments consortia developing assessments aligned with the Common Core, and a Common Core Share Fair two-hour session which is intended for attendees to share information regarding effective CTE Common Core practice. Visit the CareerTech Vision 2012 Web page to register!
Posted by Steve DeWitt on 09/09/2012 at 12:56 PM in Standards and Assessments | Permalink
On May 24, ACTE and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) partnered with Achieve on the release of a report providing a blueprint for increased engagement between state education leaders and the career and technical education (CTE) community. Read the full press release issued by Achieve, ACTE and NASDCTEc here.
The report, titled “Common Core State Standards & Career and Technical Education: Bridging the Divide Between College and Career Readiness” outlines a set of strategies state and district leaders can leverage to ensure the implementation of Common Core State Standards engages, informs, and benefits from the career and technical education (CTE) community, a critical partner in the broader college- and career-ready agenda.
Janet Bray, executive director of ACTE said, “Common Core State Standards implementation presents tremendous opportunity for CTE and academics to better align to improve student career readiness, but too many states and school districts are neglecting this important connection point. This paper is a key tool that will help guide state and local leaders and improve understanding about how to include CTE in the Common Core implementation process. Our hope is that all school leaders will follow the good examples provided by these leading states.”
ACTE has been focusing on providing additional Common Core support for CTE professionals. On May 29, I will participate on a Webinar featuring the Achieve paper that will be hosted by the American Diploma Project Network. Sign up here.
Posted by Steve DeWitt on 05/24/2012 at 09:31 AM in Standards and Assessments | Permalink
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), one of the Common Core assessment consortia, provides a number of ways that K-12 educators can get involved in the development of PARCC assessments.This summer 2012, PARCC will be launching an item review committee which is planning to engage with many educators at the state and local levels.
PARCC will also be working with state-specific educator leader cadres this summer with the intent to deeply engage with teams of district and school level educators within each of the 24 PARCC states around the tools and supports being developed through PARCC. While states will organize a range of activities for their K-12 communities, each year, PARCC will bring together 24-member teams of K-16 educators from across PARCC states. The meetings will provide an opportunity for educators to build expertise in the Common Core State Standards and PARCC by engaging in deep analysis of the standards and aligned material such as the PARCC Model Content Frameworks and item prototypes.
If you are a CTE educator interested in getting engaged with either of these activities, you should reach out to your state leadership team member. PARCC states and state team leads are listed on the PARCC Web site on individual state pages.Another way to notify PARCC of your interest in involvement is to fill out PARCC’s K-12 engagement survey which allows educators to check the activities they are most interested in participating in, such as providing feedback on the soon-to-be refreshed model content frameworks, piloting item prototypes (the first of which will be available this summer), or reviewing professional development modules. ACTE encourages you to actively participate in these and other activities initiated by PARCC and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). CTE educator participation will ensure CTE is included as Common Core assessments are developed.
Posted by Steve DeWitt on 04/24/2012 at 09:39 AM in Standards and Assessments | Permalink
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner