FPS readying for Standards adoption and new assessments

By Asst. Superintendent Bob Grosz

The Common Core State Standards, adopted by 46 of 50 states, are the academic content standards that will unify what American K-12 schoolchildren learn at each grade level. The standards will officially become the North Dakota English Language Arts & Literacy Content Standards and the Mathematics Content Standards on July 1. These standards have been the focus of professional development, professional learning community discussions, and curriculum writing projects for the past few years as we prepare for the implementation of the standards.

English Language Arts & Literacy Content Standards: http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/standard/content_standards_ela.shtm

Mathematics Content Standards: http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/standard/content_standards_math.shtm

At the same time, the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has been working to develop a new state assessment system to align to the Common Core Standards. The new assessment system is scheduled to be implemented during the 2014-15 school year.

North Dakota is on the Advisory Boards for two different assessment consortia. According to Robert Bauer, Assistant Director for Standards and Achievement at DPI, “Two consortia, PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) and Smarter Balanced, received grants in 2010 from the US Department of Education to develop assessment item banks that will be secured and available for future state assessments. As a participating member of both consortia, North Dakota is committed to working collaboratively with other states to develop a common set of K-12 assessments in English language arts/literacy and mathematics based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).” Most likely, the state of North Dakota will select one of the two consortia as the provider of the state assessment system.


Although North Dakota has not yet made a final decision on the assessment consortia, it is important that all schools across North Dakota be exposed to a representation of the types of assessment items that will most likely appear in the new state assessment system. For this reason, both PARCC and Smarter Balanced have released sample items and tasks. To view the sample items and tasks, click on the links below:

PARCC:                (Both ELA and Math)                        http://www.parcconline.org/samples/item-task-prototypes

Smarter Balanced:
(English Language Arts)                             http://sampleitems.smarterbalanced.org/itempreview/sbac/ELA.htm

(Mathematics)                                            http://sampleitems.smarterbalanced.org/itempreview/sbac/index.htm

Over time, additional sample item and task prototypes and rubrics will be posted to the PARCC and Smarter Balanced websites to represent the full range of assessment tasks that will be included on actual assessments beginning in 2014-2015. These released items will help us as we continue to transition to the new state standards and new assessment system.

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