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Common Core
State Standards

Help prepare your students and educators in advance for the changes required with the new Common Core Assessments in 2014.

Overview

Are You Ready for the Common Core State Standards?

The Common Core State 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/McGraw-Hill 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, CTB is prepared for change. CTB will work with states adopting Common Core State Standards to coordinate statewide summative and interim assessments with classroom instruction and teachers' formative assessment practices. CTB has already aligned solutions and assessment products to Common Core State Standards consortia guidelines, while also making sure they are in compliance with your state's current assessment requirements (see the Are You Ready? tab).

Help prepare your students and educators in advance for the changes required with the new Common Core Assessments in 2014. Visit CTB.com's Common Core Smart Center »

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Acuity

CTB offers comprehensive Acuity Assessment solutions to support data-informed teaching. Learn more about the Acuity Tests from CTB. Learn more »

Subject areas and grades

TerraNova, Third Edition

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

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 CTB. Get more information today. Learn more »

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.

Visit CTB.com's Common Core Smart Center »

The Common Core Standards present many changes to assessment. By 2014 states involved in the Smarter Balanced Consortium (SBAC), and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) will need to be prepared to implement the new standards in their assessment programs.

The changes are widespread through assessment programs. The Common Core 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.

Comprehensive, integrated Acuity Assessment solutions support data-informed teaching and decision making

The Acuity® InFormative Assessment™ solution helps you diagnose, predict, report, communicate, and provide individual instruction — all in one powerful and award-winning solution. Acuity now offers a complete and integrated system beginning in kindergarten and helping you advance student achievement all the way through high school. You can use Acuity throughout the year to build achievement with individual students, classrooms, schools, and districts. Now Acuity delivers innovative resources for Grades K–12 that support your gradual and effective transition to teaching and learning relative to the Common Core State Standards.

Acuity for Grades K–2 Aligned to the Common Core

Acuity for Grades 3–8 Aligned to the Common Core

Acuity for High School Aligned to the Common Core — Grades 9–12

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 at CTB.com/CoreLink »

CTB/McGraw-Hill is ready. Are you?

CTB/McGraw-Hill can tell you today where your students are relative to the Common Core State Standards, and we can tell you with assessments and content that mirror the rigor, format, and style that is coming with the Common Core. CTB/McGraw-Hill is the one publisher you will partner with to help your teachers and students get ready now.

Assessment Type
CTB Solution
Common Core Requirement
Summative
 
Common Core National Achievement test with
 
  • Integrated Extended Constructed Response and Performance Tasks
  • Online Administration
  • Adaptive (2012)
Benchmark, Formative, Through Course
 
 
 
 
Common Core-aligned content and assessments
 
  • Integrated Constructed Response and Performance Tasks
  • Online
  • Adaptive & Artificial Intelligence Scoring (2012)
  • Ability to author and add local content
 
English Language Learner
 
 
 
TESOL & Common Core State Standards aligned with
 
  • Integrated Constructed Response and Performance Tasks
  • Complete Online Language Proficiency Assessment Available
  • Artificial Intelligence Scoring (2012)
Writing (Summative & Formative)
Online Common Core State Standard Assessment and Practice with Artificial Intelligence scoring

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 CTB/McGraw-Hill 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: ¹http://www.corestandards.org/)

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 »


Help prepare your students and educators in advance for the changes required with the new Common Core Assessments in 2014.
Visit CTB.com's Common Core Smart Center »


Click on a session name to download it's presentation slides in .PDF form.

Common Core State Standards Presentation by CTB Research scientist Steve Ferrara

View the slides from Steve Ferrara's overview of the Common Core State Standards
Presenter: Steve Ferrara, CTB/McGraw-Hill

CTB's Webinar Series Performance Assessment for the Next Generation of State Assessment

Session #1: Overview on Performance Assessment for the Next Generation of State Assessments (333KB .PDF)
Presenter: Suzanne Lane, University of Pittsburgh and learning Research Development Center
Commentator: Ed Roeber, Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University

Session #2: Assessing Mathematics Learning and Growth in the Next Generation of State Assessments (296KB .PDF)
Presenter: Alan Schoenfeld, University of California at Berkeley
Commentator: Rosemary Fitton Abell, Consultant

Session #3: Reading Assessment for a New Era and the Common Core State Standards (301KB .PDF)
Presenter: P. David Pearson, University of California at Berkeley
Commentator: Karen Wixson, Professor, School of Education, University of Colorado at Boulder

Session #4: Psychometric Issues, Opportunities, and Challenges for the Next Generation of Assessments (165KB .PDF)
Presenter: Rich Patz, Vice President of Research and Product Development, CTB/McGraw-Hill
Commentator: Robert Linn, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Education
Research, School of Education, University of Colorado at Boulder

Session #5: Computer-Adaptive Testing and Automated Test Assembly in the Next Generation of State Assessments (423KB .PDF)
Presenter: Wim van der Linden, Chief Research Scientist, CTB/McGraw-Hill
Commentator: Mark Reckase, Distinguished University Professor, Michigan State University

Session #6: Assessing the Common Core State Standards in Writing, Listening, and Speaking in the Next Generation of State Assessments (426KB .PDF)
Presenter: Sue Pimentel, Standards and Assessment Specialist — Lead Writer of the Common Core Standards in English/Language Arts
Commentator: Sue Rigney, Education Specialist, U.S. Department of Education and former director for portfolio writing assessments in KY and VT

Session #7: Technology-Based Enhancements to Items for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs (2825KB .PDF)
Presenter: Ken Koedinger, Professor of Human Computer Interaction and Psychology and Director of the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center
Commentator: Joseph Martineau, Director of Educational Assessment and Accountability, Michigan Department of Education

Session #8: Current and Needed Vendor Capabilities for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs (335KB .PDF)
Presenter: Ed Roeber, Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University
Commentator: Suzanne Lane, University of Pittsburgh and Learning Research Development Center

Session #9: Formative Assessment and Learning Progressions (2122KB .PDF)
Presenter: Margaret Heritage, UCLA/CRESST
Commentator: Joan Herman, UCLA/CRESST

Common Core State Standards Resources

Featured Article

Download the Acuity Common Core State Standards Overview, Grades 3–12

 

Featured Article

The Role of Assessment in the Effective Transition to the Common Core State Standards

CTB/McGraw-Hill offers the right solutions at the right time, giving states and districts the opportunity to prepare students, teachers, administrators, parents, and stakeholders for the changes ahead. Educators can use these solutions to support authentic and positive improvements to learning and teaching. Through our products, our programs, our ongoing research initiatives, and our forums for collaborative assessment development, we are partnering with our clients to create next-generation, balanced assessment systems.

To learn more or to discuss your needs with an Assessment Solutions Consultant, please call us at 800.538.9547.


 

The Common Core State Standards: Developing World Class Students for the 21st Century

When a student sits in a classroom today, they're not just competing with their classmates. They're preparing for a future where they will compete globally... like never before. How do we help them? How do we prepare them for jobs that don't even exist yet?

The Common Core State Standards: Developing World Class Students for the 21st Century

When a student sits in a classroom today, they're not just competing with their classmates. They're preparing for a future where they will compete globally... like never before. How do we help them? How do we prepare them for jobs that don't even exist yet?

Webinar: Innovative Acuity Performance Assessments Deliver New Measures of Student Understanding

Gretchen Schultz, Principal Assessment Specialist & Holly Bremerkamp, Acuity Product Manager

Webinar Content:

  • Introduction to the Performance Assessment requirements in the CCSS
  • Review of Acuity Performance Assessments and the CCSS alignment
  • Demonstration of Acuity Performance Assessment Builder, rubrics and reports
  • Questions and Answers
Acuity for Common Core Standards The next generation of assessments designed to help you strategically transition your assessment and instruction to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The trusted Acuity solution continues to support Grades 3–8 and now features alignments to the CCSS and new assessment solutions to help high school students succeed in a 21st century, global workforce. Assessing ELLs Online: Are They Ready to Meet the Language Demand from Common Core?

Huan Wang, Ph.D. Research Scientist, CTB/McGraw-Hill
The webinar will present and discuss:
• Defining language demand
• Digital literacy and the challenges ELL students face
• Designing a language assessment task
• Machine scoring and general considerations

Session 1: Performance Assessment The first in the webinar series Performance Assessment for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs. Presented on October 4, 2010. Session 2: Assessing Mathematics Learning and Growth in the Next Generation of State Assessments The second in the webinar series Performance Assessment for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs. Presented on October 15, 2010. Session 3: Reading Assessment for a New Era and the Common Core State Standards The third in the webinar series Performance Assessment for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs. Presented on October 21, 2010. Session 4: Psychometric Issues, Opportunities, and Challenges for the Next Generation of Assessments The fourth in the webinar series Performance Assessment for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs. Presented on October 28, 2010. Session 5: Computer-Adaptive Testing and Automated Test Assembly in the Next Generation of State Assessments The fifth in the webinar series Performance Assessment for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs. Presented on November 10, 2010. Session 6: Assessing the Common Core State Standards in Writing, Listening, and Speaking in the Next Generation of State Assessments The sixth in the webinar series Performance Assessment for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs. Presented on November 15, 2010. Session 7: Capitalizing on Technology to Assess Student Cognition and Learning in Formative Assessments The seventh in the webinar series Performance Assessment for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs. Presented on November 30, 2010. Session 8: Current and Needed Vendor Capabilities for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs The eighth in the webinar series Performance Assessment for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs. Presented on December 7, 2010. Session 9: Formative Assessment and Learning Progressions The ninth in the webinar series Performance Assessment for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs. Presented on December 9, 2010.

Next Steps

Contact us
Download the eGuide
Visit the Common Core Smart Center

Assessment Glossary

Build your understanding of key assessment concepts.

View glossary »

When a student sits in a classroom today, they're not just competing with their classmates. They're preparing for a future where they will compete globally... like never before. How do we help them? How do we prepare them for jobs that don't even exist yet?

Watch Video

Gretchen Schultz, Principal Assessment Specialist & Holly Bremerkamp, Acuity Product Manager

Webinar Content:

Watch Video

The next generation of assessments designed to help you strategically transition your assessment and instruction to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The trusted Acuity solution continues to support Grades 3–8 and now features alignments to the CCSS and new assessment solutions to help high school students succeed in a 21st century, global workforce.

Watch Video

Huan Wang, Ph.D. Research Scientist, CTB/McGraw-Hill
The webinar will present and discuss:
• Defining language demand
• Digital literacy and the challenges ELL students face
• Designing a language assessment task
• Machine scoring and general considerations

Watch Video

The first in the webinar series Performance Assessment for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs. Presented on October 4, 2010.

Watch Video

The second in the webinar series Performance Assessment for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs. Presented on October 15, 2010.

Watch Video

The third in the webinar series Performance Assessment for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs. Presented on October 21, 2010.

Watch Video

The fourth in the webinar series Performance Assessment for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs. Presented on October 28, 2010.

Watch Video

The fifth in the webinar series Performance Assessment for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs. Presented on November 10, 2010.

Watch Video

The sixth in the webinar series Performance Assessment for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs. Presented on November 15, 2010.

Watch Video

The seventh in the webinar series Performance Assessment for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs. Presented on November 30, 2010.

Watch Video

The eighth in the webinar series Performance Assessment for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs. Presented on December 7, 2010.

Watch Video

The ninth in the webinar series Performance Assessment for the Next Generation of State Assessment Programs. Presented on December 9, 2010.

Watch Video