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Transitioning to the Common Core State Standards California PTA February 26, 2013 Nancy Brownell, Senior Fellow Jessica Valdez, Administrator California Department of Education. California and the Common Core State Standards.

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Transitioning to the

Common Core State Standards

California PTA

February 26, 2013

Nancy Brownell, Senior Fellow

Jessica Valdez, Administrator

California Department of Education

california and the common core state standards
California and the Common Core State Standards

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce.

the common core state standards
The Common Core State Standards


  • Are aligned with college and work expectations;
  • Are clear, understandable and consistent;
  • Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills;
  • Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;
the common core state standards1
The Common Core State Standards


  • Internationally benchmarked
  • Evidence and research-based
  • Consistent expectations – no matter where you live
  • Opportunity for shared resources and reduced costs
the common core state standards2
The Common Core State Standards
  • Feedback and review from national organizations, including:

TOM TORLAKSONState Superintendent of Public Instruction


Common Core Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects
  • The CCSS for English-Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects are organized around the College and Career Readiness (CCR) Standards for Reading, Writing, and Speaking and Listening.
  • Each strand is headed by a set of CCR Anchor Standards that is identical across all grades and content areas.
  • The anchor standards lend coherence to the document both across the content areas and across the grades.
balanced representation of literary and informational text
Balanced Representation of Literary and Informational Text
  • Kindergarten through grade 5
    • 10 Reading standards for literature
    • 10 Reading standards for informational text
    • Writing standards that explicitly call for opinion pieces, narratives, and informative/explanatory texts
  • Grades 6–12
    • 10 Reading standards for literature
    • 10 Reading standards for informational text
    • Writing standards that explicitly call for arguments, narratives, and informative/explanatory texts
    • An additional set of standards for reading and writing in history/social studies, science and technical subjects
informational text
Informational Text
  • Includes the subgenres of exposition, argument, and functional text in the form of personal essays, speeches, opinion pieces, essays about art or literature, biographies, memoirs, journalism, and historical, scientific, technical, or economic accounts (including digital sources) written for a broad audience

Source: page 33 of the CCSS for ELA and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects

literacy in history social studies science and technical subjects grades 6 12
Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects: Grades 6–12
  • Set the expectation that students will read and write in non-ELA classrooms and develop informational/technical writing skills
  • Provide an acknowledgement of unique text structures found in informational text
  • Maintain the focus on discipline-specific vocabulary, critical analysis, and evidence across the curriculum
technical subjects
Technical Subjects

Technical subjects – A course devoted to a practical study, such as engineering, technology, design, business, or other workforce-related subject; a technical aspect of a wider field of study, such as art or music

Source: Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects: Appendix A

critical analysis use of evidence
Critical Analysis/Use of Evidence
  • Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text. (2.RI.8)
  • Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and identifying when irrelevant evidence is introduced. (8.SL.3)
  • Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant data and evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both claim(s) and counterclaims in a discipline-appropriate form that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level, concerns, values, and possible biases. (11-12.WHST.1.b)
focus on text complexity
Focus on Text Complexity
  • By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 4–5 text complexity band independently and proficiently. (5.RL.10)
  • Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


increased student collaboration
Increased Student Collaboration
  • With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others. (3.W.6)
  • Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. (9-10.SL.1)
vocabulary acquisition and use
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
  • Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts. (K.L.6)
  • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic. (7.W.2.d)
  • Determine the meaning of word and phrase as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone). (9-10.RL.4)
increased use of multimedia and technology
Increased Use of Multimedia and Technology
  • Add audio recordings and visual displays to presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas and themes. (4.SL.5)
  • Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to each medium (e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film). (7.RL.7)
  • Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem. (11-12.RST.7)
transitioning to the ccss
Transitioning to the CCSS
  • Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction
  • Reading, writing and speaking grounded in evidence from text, both literary and informational
  • Regular practice with complex text and its academic language


mathematical proficiency as defined by the california framework 2006
Mathematical Proficiency as defined by the California Framework (2006)

Conceptual Understanding


Procedural Skills

Problem Solving

common core standards for mathematics
Common Core Standards for Mathematics

The standards for mathematics:

Are focused, coherent, and rigorous

Aim for clarity and specificity

Stress conceptual understanding of key ideas

Balance mathematical understanding and procedural skill

Are internationally benchmarked

two types of interrelated standards
Two Types ofInterrelated Standards

Mathematical Practices(the same at every grade level)

Mathematical Content(different at each grade level)

standards for mathematical practice
Standards for Mathematical Practice

Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

Model with mathematics.

Use appropriate tools strategically.

Attend to precision.

Look for and make use of structure.

Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

Describe ways students engage with the subject matter throughout the elementary, middle and high school years

high school mathematics
High School Mathematics

The CCSS high school standards are organized in 6 conceptual categories:

Number and Quantity



Modeling (*)


Statistics and Probability

California additions:

Advanced Placement Probability and Statistics


Modeling standards are indicated by a (*) symbol.

Standards necessary to prepare for advanced courses in mathematics are indicated by a (+) symbol.

model course pathways for mathematics
Model Course Pathways for Mathematics

Courses in higher level mathematics: Precalculus, Calculus (upon completion of Precalculus), Advanced Statistics, Discrete Mathematics, Advanced Quantitative Reasoning, or other courses to be designed at a later date, such as additional career technical courses.

Algebra II

Mathematics III

Mathematics II


Mathematics I

Algebra I

Pathway A

Traditional in U.S.

Pathway B

International Integrated approach

(typical outside of U.S.)


transitioning to the ccss1
Transitioning to the CCSS
  • Focus strongly where the standards focus
  • Coherence: Think across grades, and link to major topics within grades
  • Rigor: In major topics, pursue conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application


cde ccss web page
CDE CCSS Web page

  • Subscribe:

[email protected]

[email protected]


Nancy Brownell

Senior Fellow

California Department of Education

California State Board of Education

[email protected]


smarter balanced assessment system
Smarter BalancedAssessment System

Summative assessments

Benchmarked to college and career readiness

Teachers and schools have information and tools they need to improve teaching and learning

Common Core State Standards specify

K-12 expectations for college and career readiness

All students leave high school college and career ready

Teacher resources for formative assessment practices

to improve instruction

Interim assessments Flexible, open, used for actionable feedback

smarter balanced assessment consortium basics
Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Basics

To develop a set of comprehensive and innovative assessments for grades 3-8 and 11 in English language arts and mathematics aligned to the Common Core State Standards

Students leave high school prepared for postsecondary success in college or a career through increased student learning and improved teaching

Computer based and computer adaptive

The assessments are scheduled to be operational in the 2014-15 school year

24 states educating approximately 20 million public K-12 students

Smarter Balanced Member States

state governance and participation
State Governance and Participation
  • Consortium led by state K-12 and higher education representatives. All major decisions subject to state vote.
  • Two California representatives on Smarter Balanced Executive Committee (Co-chair Deb Sigman, Higher Education Representative Beverly Young)
  • Over 80 staff from member states and higher education institutions across the nation are involved in workgroups helping to design the system.
  • Expert advice from an array of standing advisory panels.
smarter balanced work groups and california members
Smarter Balanced Work Groups and California Members
  • 1. Item Development/Performance Tasks – Linda Hooper
  • 2. Validation and Psychometrics/Test Design – Jamie Contreras
  • Test Administration/Student Access – Shobhana Rishi
  • Formative Assessment Practices and Professional Learning/Transition to CCSS – Laura Watson
  • Technology Approach/Reporting – Rodney Okamoto (Co-chair)
smarter balanced milestones
Smarter Balanced Milestones

Technology Readiness Tool Launched

March 2012

Preliminary test blueprints approved

November 2012

SBE adopted Common Core State Standards

August 2010

STAR Program sunsets

July 1, 2014

SSPI’s Report with recommendations delivered to the Legislature January 2013

Spring 2013

Pilot testing of Summative Assessments

Smarter Balanced assessments implemented

California joined Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

June 2011

Assessment reauthorization outreach effort to develop recommendations

Spring 2014

Field testing of Summative Assessments

Technology Strategy Framework and System Requirements Specifications Released

December 2012

preliminary test blueprints
Preliminary Test Blueprints
  • Approved by governing states in November 2012
  • Include critical information about the number of items, score points, and depth of knowledge for items associated with each assessment target
  • Guide the development of items and performance tasks, the pilot and field tests, score reporting, standard setting, and ongoing research
  • Are considered preliminary until after review of the data gathered from the pilot and field tests
  • Links to blueprints available on the Smarter Balanced Web page at
revised draft initial achievement level descriptors alds
Revised Draft Initial Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs)
  • Initial draft ALDs were released for public comment November 27, 2012, through January 15, 2013 and February 4 through 20.
  • The revised draft ALD documents, online survey for providing feedback, and recording of Webinar highlighting the revisions are available at
  • Governing states are expected to adopt the initial ALDs in Spring 2013.
technology readiness tool
Technology Readiness Tool
  • Generates device and network “readiness reports” at the school level.
  • Reports show a general level of readiness:
    • 0% - 25% (red)
    • 26% - 50% (orange)
    • 51% - 75% (yellow)
    • 76% - 100% (green)
smarter balanced spring 2013 pilot test
Smarter BalancedSpring 2013 Pilot Test
  • Two samples for school participation:
    • Scientific
    • Volunteer
      • There will be no scores or individual student data associated with either sample.
      • The pilot test is untimed but depending on the grade, content area, and types of items administered, test times are expected to range from 2 to 3 hours.
spring 2013 pilot test scientific sample
Spring 2013 Pilot Test —Scientific Sample
  • Test window: February 20–May 24, 2013
  • Nearly 1,200 California schools have confirmed participation!
  • CDE is assisting participating schools by submitting required student data.
  • Search for selected CA schools by county and district and view participation status on the CDE Smarter Balanced Web page at Select the “Spring 2013 Pilot Test” hyperlink.
      • Deadline for registering to participate is February 28, 2013
spring 2013 pilot test volunteer sample
Spring 2013 Pilot Test —Volunteer Sample
  • Open to all schools in member states
  • Test window: April 9 through May 10, 2013
  • Nearly 1,800 California schools have registered!
  • Participation in volunteer pilot available any time during the testing window
  • Schools volunteer by completing the volunteer survey at:
  • Deadline for registering to participate is March 27, 2013
upcoming opportunity for teacher involvement
Upcoming Opportunity for Teacher Involvement
  • Smarter Balanced digital library of formative assessment tools and practices
  • State Network of Educators to be formed to review proposed tools and practices for inclusion in the digital library
  • Recruitment of State Network of Educators expected to begin in Spring 2013
legislative update
Legislative Update


  • Assembly Bill 484 (Bonilla)
  • Senate Bill 247 (Liu)


  • Education technology bill (Miller)
for further smarter balanced information
For Further Smarter Balanced Information

Join the CDE Smarter Balanced listserv by sending a blank e-mail to:

[email protected]

Contact the CDE Transition Office

[email protected]


Visit the Smarter Balanced

Assessment Consortium Web Site

Visit the CDE Smarter Balanced Web Page