When we were in elementary school, even preschool, our teachers encouraged us to work in groups – whether it was creating a story together or exploring facts and figures. This teamwork mindset helped everyone learn together to make something bigger than ourselves and is often used not only in the classroom but in the real world too.
Today, many states have taken a team approach to establishing and implementing national standards and assessments for the country’s students, and together, we are creating a shared vision on how America’s education system will be re-energized.
More specifically, groups of states recently worked to create the Common Core State Standards, defining what students should know and learn in English, Language Arts and Mathematics to ensure they leave our schools ready for the next step. Now, this same group of states is developing common assessments that will measure our progress in making sure those standards are being successfully taught to our students. This group, commonly referred to as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), is comprised of 24 states that are working together to define what these assessments need to look like and all the other logistical issue surrounding such a large, and important undertaking.
Despite the enormous task these states have agreed to take on, the benefits far outweigh the headaches. For instance, a student in Maryland could move to Florida during any course of his or her educational journey and continue to be on track for college or career without skipping a beat. Students in all states participating in PARCC will have the benefit of the same high-quality instruction in the Common Core State Standards and will have an accurate, comparable picture of their learning progress.
This is an exciting time in education and we continue to seek additional feedback and ideas on tomorrow’s classrooms. Check our efforts with the Partnership at any time and offer ideas and suggestions. Improving the education of our youth is an ongoing conversation and we need your feedback to make sure it’s not a one-way street.