ERIC Number: EJ1087657
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jan
Aligning the K-12 Academic Journey with a Postsecondary Destination
Smith, Malbert, III; Williamson, Gary L.
State Education Standard, v16 n1 p14-18 Jan 2016
Although debate about the adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has been extensive, there is unanimity on the importance of college and career readiness standards. If statewide assessments are not aligned to the workplace and college requirements of reading and comprehending more complex text, then states will keep promoting a false sense of security that U.S. high school graduates are college and career ready when, in fact, they are not. This article discusses how North Carolina has aligned its assessments to the "endpoint," raised standards and performance, and built student growth trajectories. North Carolina has long focused on documenting student growth, incorporating that growth into its accountability system, improving its longitudinal data systems, and using multiple analytical strategies. This history made it possible for the state to create developmental growth curves that illustrate the long-term progression of student performance. As their measurement systems and longitudinal data collections have matured, North Carolina has extended its understanding of growth from the simple year-to-year gains it employed 20 years ago, to growth curves spanning grades three through eight (in efforts that began around 10 years ago), to descriptions spanning grades 3 through 11 (in its most recent efforts). These data can be used to juxtapose the relationships between academic standards and student growth. One outcome revealed in the North Carolina analysis is that student performance improved as the state board raised standards. By examining reading growth longitudinally and connecting this growth to the real-world reading demands of occupations and higher education environments, state board members can have confidence that their state's assessments are aligned to college and career readiness.
Descriptors: Alignment (Education), Elementary Secondary Education, Postsecondary Education, College Readiness, Career Readiness, Educational Assessment, Growth Models, Achievement Gains, Reading Achievement, Longitudinal Studies, State Boards of Education, State Standards, Academic Standards
National Association of State Boards of Education. 2121 Crystal Drive Suite 350, Arlington, VA 22202. Tel: 800-368-5023; Tel: 703-684-4000; Fax: 703-836-2313; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.nasbe.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A