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A new report, released by ACT, is aimed at assisting states as they begin implementing the Common Core State Standards.

This first-of-its-kind research report, entitled A First Look at the Common Core and College and Career Readiness, provides an estimate of current student performance on the Common Core State Standards using ACT college- and career-readiness data as well as provides recommendations for local educators and state and federal policymakers that will be particularly helpful to the 44 states that are moving from adoption to implementation of the common standards.

States adopting the Common Core State Standards will have work to do to bring their students up to college- and career- readiness levels on the standards, according to the report’s findings.

The report analyzed the test results of more than 250,000 11th-grade students in several states who were administered select forms of the ACT Plus Writing exam in spring 2010 as part of their states’ annual testing programs. The students represented in this report are unique in that they are not self-selected as many college admissions examinees are, span a range of abilities and college aspirations, are from a variety of communities and schools, and include those tested under standard conditions and under accommodations. In essence, the students represented in this report are a typical representation of students in high schools around the country.

While the report is not intended to focus on student performance relative to current state standards, it does shed light on areas states will need to focus on in their move from current state standards to the Common Core State Standards. Some of the report’s key findings reveal that across all Common Core domains, strands, and clusters, only one-third to one-half of 11th-grade students are reaching a college and career readiness level of achievement. In addition, the percentages of Caucasian students who met or exceeded college and career readiness were uniformly higher than those of African American, Hispanic, and other underserved students.

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Florida Virtual Schools President and CEO Julie Young talks about how to create virtual courses that play to students’ interests while also maintaining academic standards. (Source: Education Week)

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The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has presented a discussion draft to the National Assessment Governing Board that oversees policies for NAEP. The draft will discuss the framework for the National Assessment of Technological Literacy. It will be the first of its kind to assess students’ ability to understand and use a range of technological tools. 

 The assessment will also evaluate students’ understanding of the different types of technology tools, their design and the different ways the tools can be used to gather information and stimulate ideas.

 The computer-based assessment is scheduled to be given in 2012 for the first time, to a representative sample of 4th, 8th and 12th graders.

For more information visit: www.nagb.org.

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