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ERIC Number: ED566668
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Checking In: Do Classroom Assignments Reflect Today's Higher Standards? K-12 Practice. Equity in Motion Series
Santelises, Sonja Brookins; Dabrowski, Joan
Education Trust
Prepared for school district and education leaders, "Checking In" is the first in the "Equity in Motion" series, which scrutinizes how issues of equity are translating into the daily activities of schools and educators. Nearly every state has adopted new, more rigorous standards for college and career readiness over the past five years, but after many hours of professional development and revised observational protocols, is the rigor of the new standards reaching students? In this report, The Education Trust responds with "not so much." This assignments analysis conducted by an Ed Trust team of content experts finds that middle grades assignments do not reflect the high-level goals set by new, more rigorous college- and career-ready standards. Key findings include: (1) Overall, only about 5 percent of assignments fell into the high range on the assignment analysis framework (met 6-8 indicators); (2) Fewer than 4 in 10 assignments (or 38 percent) were aligned with a grade-appropriate standard. Moreover, rates in high-poverty schools were considerably lower, at roughly one-third of all assignments; (3) Fifty-five percent of assignments were connected to a text. However, overall, only 16 percent of assignments required students to use a text for citing evidence as support for a position or a claim; (4) Only 4 percent of all assignments reviewed pushed student thinking to higher levels. About 85 percent of assignments asked students to either recall information or apply basic skills and concepts as opposed to prompting for inferences or structural analysis, or requiring author critiques. Many assignments show an attempt at rigor, but these are largely surface level; and (5) Relevance and choice--powerful levers to engage early adolescents--are mostly missing in action. Only 2 percent of assignments meet both indicators for engagement. Contains notes.
Education Trust. 1250 H Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-293-1217; Fax: 202-293-2605; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: Administrators; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Trust