The Common Core State Standards Initiative offers an unprecedented opportunity for states to collaborate to improve the quality, cost-effectiveness and comparability of their assessment systems. While adoption of the common standards and assessments is a state decision (initially, 48 states, 2 territories and the District of Columbia signed on), states who adopt the Common Core Standards are being encouraged to employ only one or two summative assessments that could be administered across all states.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top Assessment Program will make up to $350 million available for the remaining three state consortia to develop what has been called the "next generation" of higher quality assessments. While each consortium has chosen to emphasize a different set of priorities in the short term, they both have agreed to establish testing programs that meet these overarching principles of next-generation assessments:
- 1. Assessments should be fully aligned with the new Common Core Standards and measure the full breadth and depth of knowledge and skills described in the standards.
- 2. Assessments should produce a range of sophisticated data necessary to support decision making at all levels, including indicators as to whether students are ready or "on track" to be ready for college and careers; measures of student growth over time in addition to annual performance against standards; and information on how students perform compared with their international peers.
- 3. States must create coherent assessment systems comprised of multiple integrated components, including a variety of formative assessments that inform, support and improve classroom instruction, rather than continuing to rely on one annual test to accomplish too many purposes.
Lexile Measures Support "Next-Generation" Assessments
The Lexile Framework for Reading supports all of these key principles of next-generation assessments. MetaMetrics partners with state education departments and test publishers to conduct a study that links (or equates) the underlying reading scale of a test with the Lexile scale. These linking studies enable students' reading scores to be reported as a Lexile measure.
By linking an existing or new formative or summative assessment with the Lexile Framework, states can be sure that their testing programs will help make Common Core more concrete and meaningful to educators, parents and students. In addition, these instruments will provide actionable, Lexile—based information to determine if students have the reading ability necessary to meet the reading demands required for college and career readiness.
- For a list of assessments that report Lexile measures, click here.
- For a list of reading programs that report Lexile measures, click here.
- For more information on linking an assessment with the Lexile Framework, click here.
For more information on developing a new, Lexile-linked assessment, contact Trilby Berger, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, at tberger@Lexile.com.