Nassau BOCES Pilots Computer-Based Measures of College Readiness

Nassau BOCES announced today that it is participating in a pilot of new measures of college readiness. Led by Pearson’s Research & Innovation Network Center for College & Career Success, this initiative is part of a project to develop a methodology for large-scale, computer-based approaches for the assessment of college and career readiness using digital approaches that assess college and career readiness.

As a regional educational services provider, Nassau BOCES is always looking for cutting-edge opportunities for its component school districts. The agency collaborated with the Herricks and North Shore school districts, where eighth-grade students piloted the new activities. Students from each district were asked to engage with and respond to two activities that measure critical thinking, communication and collaboration, or creativity in the context of English Language Arts and Mathematics Common Core Standards. These students are part of a global pilot of the new measures that includes more than 800 other students from the United States, United Kingdom, Singapore, Turkey, South Africa and Israel.

“For years everyone has said that they would like to use assessments that measured 21st century skills if only such assessments were available,” said Jack Bierwirth, Superintendent of Herricks UFSD. “We were excited when one of the prominent educational companies in the world stepped up to try to develop such an assessment. It was a great experience for our teachers and students to participate in the pilot. We eagerly await a full roll-out for use by schools who are fully committed to preparing their students with the higher-order skills necessary to be college and career ready.”

The activities, developed by Pearson's team of researchers, content specialists, and psychometricians, measure critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration in the context of interdisciplinary themes, such as environmental literacy, as well as in the core subjects of mathematics and English language arts. Performance activities, similar to the ones that the Nassau BOCES, Herricks and North Shore students are piloting, are being incorporated into major assessment initiatives such as the 2015 Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA), the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), and the assessments being developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).

“I have never seen students more intellectually engaged and interested in taking a test,” said Rob Chlebicki, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction at North Shore CSD. “Instinctively, students know what matters most in learning – their ability to think and solve problems. These assessments asked students to do just that. Not only are these assessments a ‘gift’ to students, but they are also an answer to the prayer of educators who have asked for tests that measure what matters most.”