Assessment | News

CTB/McGraw-Hill Expands Common Core Assessment Line

A major player in the K-12 education technology arena has introduced a new set of assessment tools to gauge student achievement in five areas. CTB/McGraw-Hill launched TerraNova Common Core, Form 2 this week at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference taking place in San Diego, CA. This set of tests checks student knowledge and skills in English language arts, reading, mathematics, science, and social studies. A set of assessments released earlier--TerraNova Common Core, Form 1--has measures for the first three areas. Both sets of tests are intended for grades 3-8.

According to the company, both releases provide a means for teachers to measure student progress toward Common Core State Standards. Although the online exams relating to several of those topics won't appear until the 2014-2015 school year, the company has created products that it says meets the guidelines of Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. These are the two state-led consortia funded by the U.S. Department of Education to develop assessment tools for the Common Core.

The two forms from CTB/McGraw-Hill run in parallel and allow school customers to check student scores across test sets. Both forms are built on the same vertical scale for each content area.

Item types include multiple choice, constructed-response, extended-constructed response, and integrated performance tasks. The products apply two parameter partial credit item response and three parameter logistic and theory scoring models, which enable a school to give partial credit on test items and provide a more nuanced view into a student's progress in mastering a subject or skill.

CTB also provides customized research and professional development services to help schools align their curriculum to the new standards.

"The Common Core State Standards offer the incredible promise of making sure that all of our students are ready for success in college and the workforce, but to fulfill this promise we must provide educators with the solutions and support necessary to implement the new standards successfully," said CTB/McGraw-Hill President Ellen Haley. "Now, with the addition of TerraNova Common Core, Form 2, educators will have even greater flexibility in measuring student performance and growth as they work to promote students' college and career readiness."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.