Even as states begin administering new tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards, they are ramping up efforts to eliminate or minimize public backlash when the scores—widely expected to be markedly lower than results from previous assessments—are released later this year.
From old-fashioned fliers designed to reach parents via students' backpacks to webinars intended for administrators and teachers, states including Illinois and New Jersey are using a diverse set of resources and partnering with various groups to prepare school communities and the general public for what's coming.
Their goal: to spread their message that the new tests are a much more accurate and complete reflection of what students know and can do than past exams, and will in turn better inform classroom instruction.
The new assessments will be far from the first time that states have reset the bar for proficiency on tests. Supporters of the new assessments also frequently point to Kentucky's relatively smooth rollout of its common-core-aligned tests in 2012 as the model for how states can ensure the long-term survival of their new standards and assessments.
But state education departments in many cases might not be used to dealing with the volume and nature of questions and criticisms they'll face in local communities and districts. Difficulties in reaching the large swath of the public that hasn't paid attention to the shifts in instruction and testing could also vex officials and other education advocates.
(Read more at EdWeek)