Testing To, and Beyond, the Common Core
New assessments on the Common Core are critical to give school leaders new and better tools to guide instruction, support teachers, and improve outcomes. In this article, Darling-Hammond gives ideas in the development of new assessments and how they can support a multiple-measure framework to deepen teaching and learning. Such a framework would include new assessments that consider such things as classroom administered performance tasks, portfolios of writing samples, oral presentations, scored discussions, collaboration, and other learning skills. Outcomes from these types of multiple measures would value students, educators and schools, and be instructive for educators by providing insights on how individual students are doing and improving instruction.
This short brief could serve as an effective communication tool for school administrators and parents on the next steps in implementing the Common Core. As the consortia summative assessments loom on the horizon, there is a great need for deeper learning and use of formative assessments and performance tasks to inform and improve instruction.