Engaging Higher Education in the State Assessment Consortia

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Type of Topic: Initiative
Original Publication Date:
Last Modified: 1/27/2011

A Hewlett-funded SHEEO initiative for engaging the higher education community in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards.
SHEEO will work intensively to provide leadership and support for its members—state-level coordinating and governing boards and agencies—as they engage their respective institutions and systems of higher education in the adoption of core standards and the development of assessments. Three sets of related activities—outlined below and in the accompanying activity timeline—are intended to help SHEEO and its state members:
  1. Connect to the two state-based consortia likely to receive funding for developing college-ready assessments;
  2. Explore means and strategies for engaging their institutions, faculty, and other stakeholders, working with their peers from other states and with appropriate researchers and national organizations; and  
  3. Develop plans, resources, supporting strategies and other mechanisms to sustain and expand higher education engagement during the 4-5 years necessary to establish and implement college-ready standards and assessment systems. 
Our organizational vehicle will be a Peer Consultation Network (PCN) focused on student learning and assessment, currently led by Sheila Stearns, Montana Commissioner of Higher Education, and Robert King, President of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.  The Student Learning and Accountability PCN will provide state policy leaders with clear, straightforward information and opportunities for peer collaboration to assist in the development, enactment, and implementation of key policy ideas and strategies that will lead to the successful implementation of common core standards and assessment.
The first set of activities will focus on promoting and discussing the Common Core State Standards and assessments at our meetings and with our members. SHEEO will identify issues and frame strategies through sessions at our Annual Meeting and Higher Education Policy Conference, and through working meetings convened with participants representing SHEEOs, CSSOs, institutional and academic leaders, and assessment experts, to discuss the role of higher education in the development of common assessments. The goal of these meetings will be to discuss effective state strategies to define, promote, and support higher education involvement in the work of the assessment consortia. 
The second set of activities will focus on how SHEEO can provide resources and disseminate information about the work and progress of consortia in developing new assessments. This activity will rely on SHEEO’s Peer Consultation Network structure as a vehicle to reach out to members and support member interaction. Specific activities will include: collection and distribution of “college readiness” materials from each member state; collection of a state survey on level and type of engagement with the three assessment consortia; and writing and distributing  a document addressing needs and strategies for higher education involvement in the assessment consortia. 
The third set of activities will focus on sustaining and expanding the ongoing engagement of SHEEO members in the implementation of college and career ready standards and assessments until they're fully implemented. Specific activities will include: organizing a national convening of state-level leaders on consortia assessment developments; providing advice, as requested from SHEEO members on assessments and assessment consortia;  hosting conference calls with our K-12 partners, and regional and professional associations that are also involved in engaging higher education in the development of assessment consortia; connecting with consortia leadership and upon request, providing feedback received from the higher education sectors in consortia states.
The overarching goal of the activities described above is to set the stage and support the actors essential for the development and implementation of Common Core State Standards and assessments. Reaching national agreement on standards and assessments is an ambitious goal; ensuring their successful implementation and long-term sustainability is even more ambitious. Neither will be accomplished without significant engagement across the higher education community.  SHEEO is positioned to help bring about more active involvement in higher education by working with state and institutional leaders in each of the 50 states. 


Downloadable Items

Item NameDescriptionDate PostedFormat
State Participation in Common Core and Race to the TopSummary document of state participation information prepared by SHEEO5/24/2011 2:43:19 PM.xlsx
SMARTER Core ComponentsSummary of the core components of the SMARTER Consortium assessment system2/25/2011 5:12:32 PM.doc
SMARTER Race to the Top Assessment Proposal SummarySummary of SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium funding application1/27/2011 3:35:32 PM.pdf
PARCC Race to the Top Assessment Proposal SummarySummary of PARCC (Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) Assessment Consortium funding application1/27/2011 3:34:32 PM.pdf
Implementing the Common Core State Standards: An Action Agenda for Higher EducationACE, SHEEO, and Achieve brief on points of higher education engagement in the Common Core1/27/2011 3:33:01 PM.pdf
Answers about the Common CoreHunt Institute FAQ-type brief on Common Core State Standards1/27/2011 3:32:09 PM.pdf
Enhancing Assessments to Support Teaching and Learning Next Generation Assessment Systems Proposed UETS brochure on common core assessment consortia plans1/27/2011 3:26:08 PM.pdf
Coming Together to Raise Achievement New Assessments for the Common Core State StandardsETS publication summarizing plans of the Common Core Assessment Consortia1/27/2011 3:25:02 PM.pdf
States’ Progress and Challenges in Implementing Common Core State StandardsCenter on Education Policy publication document state progress on Common Core implementation1/27/2011 3:23:40 PM.pdf
A First Look at the Common Core and College and Career ReadinessACT publication on the Common Core State Standards1/27/2011 3:21:49 PM.pdf



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