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Policymakers, K-12 School Leaders Must Address Technology Needs For College And Career Ready Teaching, Learning And Assessment

On December 4, 2012, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) released guidance for policymakers and K-12 school leaders on school technology readiness needs for college and career ready teaching, learning and assessment.

As schools and districts across the country continue to move forward in implementing the Common Core State Standards, two multi-state consortia – the Partnership for the Assessment of College and Career Readiness (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia – are designing and developing Common Core-aligned, next generation student assessment systems. Schools in participating states can expect to administer these new tests beginning in the 2014-15 school year. One important feature shared by both the PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessment systems is that student assessments will be technology-delivered.

At least 33 states currently deliver one or more state tests via technology; however, for many schools and districts the shift to computer-based assessment will be new. There are compelling advantages to a technology-based assessment system as compared to current paper- and pencil-based approaches, as U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has noted, “The use of smarter technology in assessments will especially alter instruction in ways that teachers welcome.”

In making plans with respect to minimum and recommended technology specifications being released by PARCC and Smarter Balanced, school leaders must consider this information in the context of the full range of technology issues schools are addressing today.

“Policymakers and education leaders must undertake a proactive systems approach to addressing school technology needs for the long-term,” said Douglas Levin, SETDA executive director. “To meet present and future technology needs, any realistic approach must consider curricular, instructional, assessment, professional development and school operations goals.”

For more information and to download “Technology Readiness for College and Career Ready Teaching, Learning and Assessment,” please visit: http:www.setda.org/web/guest/assessment

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