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College & Career Readiness

Help prepare your students and educators in advance for the changes required with the new College and Career Readiness assessments.



Are You Ready for the College and Career Readiness?

The Common Core State Standards and College and Career Readiness Standards represent a significant change in education and educational assessment. There are new requirements for assessments to contain rigorous item types including extended constructed response, performance task, and computer-enhanced—not simply multiple choice items. There is a rapid move to online administration and reporting. There is a realization that there needs to be a balanced approach to assessments including summative assessments as well as benchmark, interim, formative, and through-course assessments.

CTB|DRC is helping educators understand what these changes mean and is working with them to develop solutions that are right for their needs. By investing in new resources and technologies, we are prepared for change. We will work with states adopting these standards to coordinate statewide summative and interim assessments with classroom instruction and teachers' formative assessment practices. CTB|DRC has already aligned solutions and assessment products to standards guidelines, while also making sure they are in compliance with your state's current assessment requirements.

Our Products

TerraNova, Third Edition

Is TerraNova the right achievement test for your students? Learn more about TerraNova, Third Edition tests and assessments from DRC|CTB.

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Subject areas and grades

  • Reading (Grades K–12)
  • Language (Grades K–12)
  • Math (Grades K–12)
  • Science, Social Studies (Grades 1–12)
  • Reading (Grades 3–8)
  • Math (Grades 3–8)
  • English Language Arts (Grades 3–8)

CoreLink Services

Transitioning to Common Core State Standards? Make the Common Core transition a smooth one with the CoreLink services offered through DRC|CTB.

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Subject areas and grades

  • Speaking (Grades 3–8)
  • Listening (Grades 3–8)
  • Writing (Grades 3–8)
  • Reading (Grades 3–8)
  • Language (Grades 3–8)
  • Mathematics (Grades 3–8)
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The Common Core State Standards Initiative is an initiative of the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The goal of the standards as announced June 1, 2009 is to: "provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them." Working collaboratively, the NGA and CCSSO formed teams of content experts who wrote and validated the Common Core State Standards for Grades K-12 in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The standards were introduced June 2, 2010.

The College and Career Readiness Standards present many changes to assessment. 

The changes are widespread through assessment programs. The College and Career Readiness Standards include assessment that goes beyond what assessment does today. The assessments contemplated by the common core assessment consortia include the following item types: performance task, extended constructed response, and technology-enhanced. Through these new item types, assessments will provide firm evidence of student knowledge and skills to support valid inferences about their progress toward college and career readiness at various times during their schooling.

  • Performance task items can take students anywhere from minutes to days to complete. Through performance task items, educators can evaluate cognitive skills. These items will be scored using rubrics based on the cognitive skills that are being assessed. A performance task item measures a student's ability to think through a complex problem that may have more than one correct answer, or more than one way to solve.
  • Extended constructed-response items are able to measure skills that are difficult to assess with a traditional assessment. Extended constructed-response items could include writing an essay or answering an open-ended question in either English Language Arts or mathematics.
  • Technology-enhanced items provide instant feedback to students and teachers. Not only are technology-enhanced items efficient, they are also dynamic and can be easily tailored to meet the needs of many different types of students.

Quickly and accurately measure student progress toward the new Common Core State Standards—and gain the data you need to improve teaching and learning today.

CoreLink Services is a cost-effective, comprehensive solution to help you ease the transition to Common Core State Standards (CCSS). It includes a new item bank that aligns to the Common Core, and a wide array of professional development and psychometric services to help you build a bridge from your existing standards to Common Core.

Item Bank

Developed for Grades 3–8, the item bank is aligned to the Common Core. It features comprehensive, innovative, rigorous items that measure the skills students need to compete in college and the workplace, including:

  • Speaking
  • Listening
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Language
  • Mathematics

Use the item bank to determine which students are on track to meet the new standards, where gaps may exist, and how they can be addressed.

Professional Development Services

CoreLink Services offers an array of online and on-site professional development services to complement the new item bank and help you successfully implement the Common Core. These services include:

  • An introduction to the Common Core and item exemplars
  • Guidance on how to "unpack" the standards, and inform instruction and interim assessments
  • Item development workshops for all item types, with associated rubrics
  • Handscoring opportunities that illustrate how items and rubrics measure the Common Core

Psychometric Services

CoreLink Services adheres to the highest technical standards and leverages the most current innovations in measurement methodology. The result is a comprehensive, high-quality item bank that meets rigorous psychometric standards. This ensures reliable and valid results that accurately measure student performance relative to the Common Core. These services include:

  • A test blueprint/cognitive rigor evaluation
  • Field testing of content reflecting the new standards
  • Field testing of new item formats
  • Linking studies
  • Customized reporting

Learn more about Core Link Services »

Norm-Referenced Tests Will Play a More Significant Role in the Common Core Environment

The creation and widespread adoption of the Common Core State Standards presents the single most significant development in summative testing since No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has funded two consortia to develop a set of common assessments for implementation in spring 2015. States and districts who choose to adopt the new standards need a plan to transition from their current testing programs to a new, national achievement test that measures the Common Core. Getting accurate, reliable, and timely results of student progress on the Common Core now will prepare districts for a successful transition.

The new TerraNova Common Core from DRC|CTB is the right product at the right time. With content aligned to the Common Core, this new form of TerraNova features innovative items that deliver an authentic measure of the higher order thinking skills and increased depth of knowledge highlighted by the Common Core. With one test that delivers results in less than seven days, TerraNova Common Core shows educators and stakeholders how well students have mastered national and common core standards.

Innovation delivers greater insight

TerraNova Common Core features item types that go beyond traditional multiple-choice tests. On the same scale and all in the same test book, the test includes:

  • Integrated Performance Tasks (PT)
  • Constructed-Response (CR) items
  • Extended Constructed-Response (ECR) items
  • Multiple-Choice

Using one test educators can compare student results on national and common core standards across grades and ability levels. All items have been developed and field-tested offering the most reliable and valid measure of any national achievement test in the market. TerraNova Common Core covers reading, English language arts, and mathematics for Grades 3–8.

A New Era in Assessment Begins Now

The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. ¹ (source: ¹

The Common Core promote critical thinking, problem solving, and attention to 21st century skills. They are aligned to college and work expectations.

Assessments that measure these new standards must look and feel different from traditional multiple-choice assessments. Students must be provided opportunities to demonstrate their understanding of the new standards through writing, producing work, and explaining how they arrived at the answer.

Items measuring the Common Core can ask students to perform a series of tasks that measure multiple standards. Gone are the days when test items map to a only a single standard and a multiple-choice item is sufficient for measuring what level of mastery a student has on a specific standard. The depth, rigor, and complexity of the Common Core move beyond the measurement ability of a multiple-choice test alone.

TerraNova Common Core breaks the limitations of a multiple-choice test by offering unique item types such as CR, ECR, and PT items. No other national achievement test offers this combination of items all on the same scale, all in one test book.

TerraNova Common Core Addresses Assessment Priorities

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) has issued important guidelines for Common Core assessments. These include:

  • Inclusion of new item types
    • Short Constructed-Response*
    • Extended Constructed-Response*
    • Performance Tasks*
  • Data to show current achievement and growth
  • State to state comparability
  • Tests can be deployed twice annually

TerraNova Common Core addresses each of these guidelines making it an optimum choice for use now as states and districts transition to the Common Core.

*Partial credit is given.

Get Results Fast

The new TerraNova Common Core offers constructed-response, extended constructed- response, and performance task items in the same test, on the same scale. Results are available in seven days or less and reports are designed to show administrators, students, and teachers where they stand on both national and the Common Core standards today and over time.

TerraNova Common Core is the only field-tested, valid, and authentic measure of the Common Core available to districts today.

Learn more about TerraNova Common Core »

Assessment Glossary


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understanding of key assessment concepts.

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