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Common Core Standards

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Sample Items and Performance Tasks Released on October 9

Starting October 9, the sample items and performance tasks can be accessed from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Sample Items and Performance Tasks Website. Help desk support will be provided through November 2, during the hours of 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. eastern time, Monday through Friday. Sample items and performance tasks will provide the first look at next-generation assessments. The samples illustrate the rigor and complexity of the English language arts/literacy and mathematics items and performance tasks students will encounter on the SBAC assessments. They will also signal to educators the shifts in instruction that will be required to help students meet the demands of the CCSS and the new assessments. It is important to note that the sample items and tasks will be presented in an online portal that does not include accessibility tools and accommodations options under development for the operational assessment system in the 2014–15 school year. Over the next several months—guided by the SBAC’s Accessibility and Accommodations Work Group and advisory committees for English language learners and students with disabilities—SBAC will finalize the accessibility tools and accommodations options available through the test delivery system.

The following CCSS-related bills were signed into law on September 27, 2012:

§  Assembly Bill 1246 (Brownley) authorizes the adoption of CCSS-aligned instructional materials for mathematics by 2014 and providing districts flexibility in the selection of instructional materials. Specifically, this State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI)-sponsored bill: 1.    Authorizes the SBE to adopt K–8 mathematics instructional materials aligned to the CCSS no later than March 30, 2014. To fund the review process, the CDE will charge fees to any publisher submitting instructional materials. 2.    Authorizes the SSPI in addition to the IQC to provide recommendations to the SBE. 3.    Ensures flexibility in the use of state funds to purchase standards-aligned instructional materials and allows districts to meet sufficiency requirements with either instructional materials aligned to the 1997 California standards for English language arts (ELA) and mathematics or the CCSS for ELA and mathematics. 4.    Extends the deadline for the SBE to adopt a revised curriculum framework for mathematics from May 2013 to November 30, 2013. 5.    Authorizes the SBE to adopt evaluation criteria for mathematics by
March 31, 2013.§  Senate Bill 1200 (Hancock) authorizes the SSPI to recommend and the SBE to adopt the ELA anchor standards for the CCSS. Additionally, if the SSPI and the SBE jointly find that there is a need to revise or modify the mathematics academic content standards as adopted by the SBE on August 2, 2010, SB 1200 calls for an advisory group of experts to be formed to provide recommendations to the SSPI and the SBE on modifying the mathematics standards. SB 1200 also provides additional needed time for the SBE to consider national science standards. SB 1200 was also sponsored by the SSPI.§  Assembly Bill 1719 (Fuentes) requires the CDE to develop a list of supplemental instructional materials for K–8 that provide a bridge to the new ELD standards for the SBE to approve by June 30, 2014. Additionally, AB 1719 authorizes a school board to approve supplemental instructional materials other than those approved by the SBE if the school board determines the supplemental instructional materials are aligned to the revised ELD standards. AB 1719 also extends the timeline for the CDE and the SBE to complete a supplemental materials list for mathematics as required by SB 140 (Chapter 623, 2011).

New Text Complexity Resources Available

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) emphasize increasing the complexity of texts students read as a key element in improving reading comprehension. Student Achievement Partners has added a set of resources regarding text complexity (Outside Source) to its Achieve the Core Web site. The collection includes new field-tested tools to measure quantitative and qualitative dimensions of text complexity as well as new research on text complexity offered as a supplement to Appendix A of the CCSS for English language arts and literacy. Videos of Common Core Lessons for Teachers (Outside Source)There are over 100 free videos related to CCSS instruction available on the Teaching Channel. The videos provide lesson ideas, an overview of the ELA and Math Standards, and demonstrations of teaching practices.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities to Participate Opportunity to Provide Feedback: Reauthorization of the California Pupil Assessment System

As part of the process in developing recommendations to the Legislature for the reauthorization of the California pupil assessment system, State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) Tom Torlakson, is seeking your help. All Californians have a unique opportunity to provide thoughts on and suggestions for what they think should be included in this system. Several opportunities exist for you to provide feedback. You may:Complete a brief survey:

o   Statewide Assessment Reauthorization Survey (English version) (Outside Source)

o   Statewide Assessment Reauthorization Survey (Spanish version) (Outside Source)


To learn more about the statewide assessment reauthorization process, please visit the CDE Statewide Pupil Assessment System Web page.