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Blog EntryBlog: Monday, September 29, 2014

National Assessments

Dear Parents,
Last week I discussed the Common Core of State Standards (CCSS). I hope you were able to check the webpage as well as watch the video that gives more information. We have a lot of work to do and we need parents as our educational partners.
As I mentioned before, this week would be a review of our assessment plan. No Child Left Behind 2003 (NCLB) mandated that all schools create an assessment for all students in grades 3—8 & 11 in reading, math and science (grades 4 & 8). The New England Common Assessment Plan (NECAPs) were created to meet this mandate and we would spend the month of October prepping and assessing students.
With the transition to the Common Core, many states are switching to one of two national tests. Vermont has joined the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC) to meet the testing requirement. Here are some major changes in the SBAC:
  • The test is now in the spring—October is free!
  • The SBAC is all online, no more paper & pencil. This presents a number
  • of challenges and we are creating plans to ensure all students have computer
  • competency so they do their best work.
  • The technology of the test will steer the student to his/her level. Through their responses, The test will guide students to their individual performanceabilities rather than get too difficult or too easy!
Here is what our Assessment Calendar will look like:
February: 4th grade students must take the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). This
is a two hour test that measures the academic achievement of students of Vermont and the U.S. against
other industrialized nations. It gives impressive data on our state and country though no individual
scores are available.
March—April: Students in grades 3—5 take the SBAC.
May: 4th Graders will be taking the Science NECAP, there isn’t any replacement for this yet.
I hope this is more informative than confusing. These are the major formal national assessments we will be working on though teachers still give informal tests throughout the school year to understand student learning. Please contact me if you have any questions.
I am excited to try on my Orchard gear. Big thanks goes to our Orchard PTO for taking this project on and enriching our school! Make sure your child’s name is written in every sweatshirt—use a permanent marker :)
Have a great weekend; take some time to read to your child. M. Trifilio

Posted by Mark Trifilio
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