Assessment solution to track student progress in transition to Common Core State Standards

CTB/McGraw-Hill today announced the launch of CoreLink™ Services, a research-based test item bank and set of services designed to help states progressively and successfully transition to the Common Core State Standards. Using challenging content combined with psychometric techniques, CoreLink Services offers states measurable feedback on student performance toward the new standards, providing a "bridge" between current assessment programs and the new Common Core State Assessments.

The implementation of the Common Core State Standards presents a tremendous challenge for educators as they seek to make a seamless transition to the new framework. Adopted at the state level in 2010, the new content standards align K-12 instruction across the country to provide a consistent, rigorous framework to prepare students for post-secondary success. The standards are being adopted for the first time this school year in 45 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, with many states working on transition strategies to migrate instruction, curriculum and assessment to the new standards.

As states begin to implement the new Common Core State Standards in classrooms and look forward to the common assessments, they will need feedback on student proficiency toward the new Common Core State Standards. CoreLink Services will help states ensure that students are grasping key common core content before the anticipated 2014-2015 release of common core-specific assessments. The CoreLink item bank is extensively researched and vertically scaled, allowing states to measure growth and progress with the validity and reliability that their programs require.

CoreLink Services offers flexibility for states, depending on their approach to adopting the new standards. For example, CoreLink Services can be used as a stand-alone item bank and set of services, or it can be paired with an existing state test to provide a comprehensive overview of student performance on the new standards.

CoreLink assessments include a variety of item formats – including selected-response, constructed-response, technology-enhanced, extended constructed-response and performance tasks – that meet the increased rigor and depth of knowledge (DOK) associated with the new standards.

In addition to the new test items and services, CoreLink Services also offers research and professional development services to complement the program. As part of the professional development offerings, CTB will help teachers unpack the standards and use test information to inform instruction and interim assessments; provide item development workshops, and offer training on how to score performance tasks or provide direct hand-scoring of the items.