Second Year of Assessments Communications Toolkit
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The Council of Chief State School Officers developed this toolkit to help states and school districts communicate before, during, and after the 2016 assessment testing window. This toolkit includes a broad number of adaptable communications resources ranging from talking points to a parent letter. Spanish translations are also available.
Users are advised to download the full toolkit, then selectively pick and adapt resources to meet their needs.
The purposes of this resource are clearly stated and generally met. In addition to providing a broad number of resources, each resource is easily adaptable to meet a state or school district’s needs. Although this resource is intended primarily for the second year of new tests, it could also be useful for year 3. As suggested in the summary, accessing the resource may be a bit of a challenge. Users should download the full toolkit, then pick those resources they need. Communications quality is quite good.
Some of the statements in the toolkit are questionable, such as the following: “Parents, regardless of race and income level, are united in their thinking about which messages (and realities) are important to them, and which ones are no longer effective.” To claim that parents are united on any issue is a stretch. Another statement was a bit misleading and overly promotional. “In Kentucky, the first state to implement Common Core, we’ve seen a 22 percent increase in students meeting three out of four ACT benchmarks for college readiness since the standards were implemented in 2011.” This resource is about new assessments, not the Common Core State Standards. Consequently, while this can be a useful resource, it needs considerable adaptation to ensure accuracy. Evidence of effectiveness is not provided, but the variety of tools and their adaptability suggest reasonable utility if not improved learning.