What are NTN College Ready Assessments?
College Readiness Assessments are curriculum-embedded performance assessments used to determine a students’ level of mastery of two learning outcomes: Knowledge and Thinking and Written Communication. Knowledge and Thinking rubrics are unique to each core discipline and assess the key understandings and skills necessary for college readiness in a particular content area.
Where do NTN CRAs come from?
CRAs are derived from a performance assessment process developed by Envision schools and the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE), and aligned to the Common Core State Standards. The assessments allow a school to determine a “college ready” level of performance in each of the core academic areas on the kinds of tasks students are typically expected to perform in college. Over the past year, we have collaborated with Envision and SCALE to adapt their processes and rubrics for use in NTN schools.
Why should we use CRAs?
Integrating CRA-level assessments into the PBL curriculum allow students to develop proficiency over time through feedback based on standards, revisions, self-assessment, and reflection, and give teachers a more complete and nuanced picture of a student’s progress toward college readiness”
New Tech also believes the regular use of CRAs will have students well-prepared for the next generation of large scale assessments, such as those under development by PARCC and Smarter Balanced. More importantly, we believe full-scale implementation of CRAs in a school will allow the school to say to students (and their families) – with justifiable confidence – “If you can do these assessments successfully, you can succeed in college without taking remedial courses.”
Does using NTN CRAs mean our students will be taking a common assessment, along with students in other schools?
No. What is common are the rubrics used to assess the work produced by each student. College Readiness Assessments may be an individual final product that accompanies a group final product or a substantial benchmark on the way to creating the final group product. In the case of math, a College Readiness Assessment may take the form of a formal rationale that accompanies a problem solution. The tasks students do, however, vary, and are embedded into a particular course and school’s curriculum
What specifically do NTN CRAs assess?
CRAs assess a student’s level of mastery of two learning outcomes: Knowledge and Thinking and Written Communication. Knowledge and Thinking rubrics are unique to each core discipline and assess the key understandings and skills necessary for college readiness in a particular content area. The Written Communication rubric has been developed so that it requires appropriate use of the written conventions specific to each discipline.
Does the use of NTN CRAs mean New Tech Network is narrowing its focus?
Not at all. NTN has always been committed to a broad set of schoolwide learning outcomes, and has adopted a set of common New Tech Learning Outcomes that include Collaboration, Oral Communication, and Agency, in addition to Knowledge and Thinking and Written Communication. We are using CRAs to provide a clear standard in the latter two areas because they are pivotal to college success.
Where’s the “career” part of college and career ready?
Right now, no one has a good way to assess career readiness broadly. New Tech accepts the assertion of the SCANS report of twenty years ago that college-going and career-readiness skills are virtually the same. More recently, David Conley, the nation’s leading researcher on college success, has reached the same conclusion.
Are new Tech schools required to implement the NTN CRAs?
New schools joining the New Tech Network commit to implementing the CRAs. Schools already part of the network are invited to implement the CRAs, and we hope every school will do so.
What is the New Tech Network doing to promote the successful implementation of NTN CRAs?
We have substantially revised New School Training to introduce and emphasize looking at student work generally, and CRAs in particular, as key elements in developing a successful New Tech school. We have redesigned our coaching, professional development, and training supports, including online professional development, and our support materials to assist in the successful use of CRAs.