Frequently Asked Questions

Assessments:

Q: What is the PARCC Assessment?
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is developing new assessments in grades 3-11 that are aligned with the Common Core State Standards.  PARCC is a consortium of 24 states working together to develop an assessment system aligned to the Common Core State Standards.  New Mexico is a governing state in the PARCC consortium, meaning that we have a say in how the assessments are developed.  The new assessments will be anchored in college and career readiness, provide comparability across states, and be able to assess and measure higher-order thinking skills such as critical thinking, communications, and problem solving that are essential to the new learning standards.

Q: What, specifically, are the testing standards to which teachers will be held accountable over the next three years?
In 2011- 2012, the SBA will test students on the New Mexico state standards.  In 2012-2013, the NM SBA will test students on the New Mexico state standards for grades 4-8, 10 and 11 and there will be a bridge assessment dually aligned to the NMCCSS and the New Mexico state standards for grade 3.  In 2014-2015, there will be a bridge assessment for grades 3-8, 10, and 11 that looks and feels more like the PARCC assessment.  In 2014-2015, New Mexico will deliver the PARCC assessments.

Q:  What kinds of PD will prepare teachers for the new assessments?
PARCC assessments don’t just cover new material; they are a wholly different kind of test that requires students to demonstrate what they know through constructed response answers, projects, and other means.  To effectively test their students throughout the year and prepare them for this new testing environment, teachers will require “assessment literacy” training that introduces them to contemporary, evidence-based assessment design principals and helps them better understand how to construct rigorous evaluations of student progress.  Examples of training that teachers will receive include:

  • Overall PARCC Assessment structure
  • Assessment types and purposes
  • Accountability awareness
  • Analysis of student work
  • Data analysis and data-driven decision-making

Q: Will the PARCC formative assessments replace short cycle assessments in 2014-2015?
PARCC does not require participating states (such as NM) to adopt its two formative assessments. According to their current timeline, it does not appear that PARCC will have their formative assessments completed until after 2014-2015. Once the PARCC formative assessments are completed, NMPED will decide whether or not to require districts to use these assessments in place of their short cycle assessments.

Q: Will the shift from the Standards Based Assessment to the PARCC assessments affect School Grading?
Yes. The overall framework will remain the same but we will have to calculate new cut points.

Q: Will the grade 11 PARCC assessment serve as the high school graduation test?
Yes, the state’s gradation assessment requirements will apply to the PARCC test. 

Q: What are the technology requirements for the PARCC assessment?
By late spring of 2012, PARCC expects to provide its member states with a technology readiness tool to assist them in determining the capacity of their schools to meet the technology requirements for the PARCC assessments and to identify gaps.  The tool also records state progress in addressing those gaps.

Q: Will the SBA Bridge Assessment be aligned to both the CCSS and the current New Mexico state standards?
The new SBA Bridge Assessment for grade 3 in 2012-2013 and the SBA Bridge Assessment for grades 3-8, 10 & 11 in 2013-2014 will be dually aligned to the CCSS and the current New Mexico state standards.

Q: Will all of the PARCC assessments be computer based?
The two PARCC summative assessments will be computer based. The PARCC Performance Based (summative) assessment will be computer administered but may have paper and pencil response items as well. The End of Year assessment will be completely computer based. The PARCC assessments will not be computer adaptive tests.

Q: Will the PARCC assessments be computer adaptive tests?
No, the PARCC assessments will not be computer adaptive tests.

Professional Development:

Q: Who will fund professional development on the CCSS?
Professional development on the CCSS will be jointly funded by NMPED and districts. Districts may divert existing federal professional development dollars towards professional development on the CCSS. NMPED is requesting additional funding from the state legislature and from private sources specifically to support districts in the transition to the CCSS.

Q: Who will fund adopting instructional materials aligned to the CCSS?
A: NMPED receives funding specifically for adopting new instructional materials following the normal adoption cycle. NMPED is requesting that the ELA adoption cycle be accelerated to this year (2012) in order to prepare districts with instructional materials aligned to the CCSS in time for the 2012-2013 school year. NMPED is requesting additional funding to assist with this process. 

Q: What professional development will be provided over the summer?
The NMPED in collaboration with New Mexico State University (NMSU) will provide summer academies scheduled to coincide with the NMCCSS implementation timeline; however, districts are asked to begin their own in-depth ongoing study of the new standards in all grades in spring 2012 while supported by resources and additional upcoming professional development opportunities posted on the NMCCSS website.

 

Grades

Timeframe

Summer Academies for District Teams

K-3

Summer 2012

ELA CCSS Academy

K-3

Summer 2012

Math CCSS Academy for grades K-3

4-12

Summer 2013

ELA CCSS Academy for grades 4-12

4-12

Summer 2013

ELA CCSS Academy for grades 4-12

6-12

Summer 2013

CCSS Literacy Standards Academy for Social Studies, Science & Technical Subjects

3-12

Summer 2014

PARCC Academy

 

Q: What other professional development resources on the CCSS are available?
The following will be provided in addition to the summer academies listed above.

Timeframe

Professional Development Offering

March 2-3, 2012

CCSS Summit Conference for District Teams

Spring 2012

NMPED begins Professional Development (PD) Service Providers Vetting Process. Listing of vetted providers will be posted online on the new NMCCSS website as available.

Spring/Summer 2012

NMPED partner provide PD for grades K-3 on Study of Standards Process; Math Practices & Instructional Shifts; ELA Capacities of the Literate Individual & Instructional Shifts; Content Knowledge; Development of Instructional Units & Assessments.

June 2012

Instructional Material Bureau provides training to Mathematics & ELA (pending) Adoption Review Committees.

Spring/ Summer 2013

PD for grades 4-12 on Study of Standards Process; Math Practices & Instructional Shifts; ELA Capacities of the Literate Individual & Instructional Shifts; Content Knowledge; Development of Instructional Units & Assessments

 

A listing of resources with links will be maintained as part of the NMCCSS website to include:

  • PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College & Careers) PD Assessment Modules[2]
  • Achieve: Advocacy, Tools, Resources, Videos[3]
  • NMSU (New Mexico State University) MC2 (Mathematically Connected Communities)[4] & ELA Support
  • Tools for the Common Core Standards[5] (Bill McCallum’s Blog, CCSSM lead writer)
  • The Hunt Institute: videos[6]


Q: What professional development on the CCSS will be provided for special populations?
Special populations will be addressed as part of all NMPED professional development offerings.

Teachers and specialized instructional support personnel will receive professional development in order to be prepared and qualified to deliver high-quality, evidence-based, individualized instruction and support services to students with disabilities.

In addition, NMPED will provide professional development guidance and tools to ensure equity and rigor for all students while addressing linguistic and cultural diversity. Districts will expand teacher knowledge of differentiated instruction to better serve Students with Disabilities (SWD), Culturally & Linguistically Diverse (CLD) students, English Language Learners (ELL) and gifted students utilizing the following resources:

  • RtI Framework[7]
    • SIOP[8] (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol)
    • GLAD[9] (Guided Language Acquisition Design)
    • Gifted Education in New Mexico Technical Assistance Manual[10]
    • J. Cummins’[11] BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills) / CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency) and Task Difficulty Quadrants


General:

Q: Is New Mexico adopting all the CCSS?

Yes, New Mexico adopted both the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts/Literacy and mathematics in October, 2010. We will be following the implementation schedule described bellow.

Mandated CCSS Implementation Timeline

Grades

CCSS

2012-2013

K-3

ELA including additional
15% state standards

2012-2013

K-3

Mathematics

2013-2014

4-12

ELA including additional
15% state standards

2013-2014

4-12

Mathematics

2013-2014
IMPORTANT NOTE: Grades 6 -12 literacy standards in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects are not meant to replace content standards in those areas but rather to supplement them and are to be incorporated into the standards for those subjects.

6-12

Literacy Standards in Social Studies, Science &
Technical Subjects

 

Q: The Common Core State Standards allow participating states to adopt an additional 15% of their own standards. Did New Mexico choose to adopt an additional 15% of standards?

Yes, but only in the area of English Language Arts (ELA) and not for mathematics.

New Mexico conducted an alignment study in the early stages of the State’s CCSS adoption process to determine gaps between the proposed standards and the current state content standards. As a result, standards in the current state content standards that addressed cultural competence were added to the New Mexico Common Core State Standards. These went into effect on October 29, 2010 as per New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC) 6.29.13.

Click to view the current NMAC ruling. 

Implementation of the additional 15% ELA cultural standards will coincide with the NMCCSS timeline of 2012-2013 for grades K-3 and 2013-2014 for grades 4-12. The additional ELA cultural standards listed in NMAC 6.29.13 are currently being reviewed to eliminate redundancy and ensure that cultural competence is fully addressed. The work is being led by the ELA/Literacy Launch Team at New Mexico State University (NMSU) in collaboration with NMPED. This team includes ELA educators and specialists, with Hispanic and Indian Education representatives. The review process will be completed in spring 2012 and NMAC 6.29.13 will be updated. Training regarding these additional requirements will be included in upcoming professional development opportunities provided to districts by NMPED and its partners.

 

Q: Will the 15% additional ELA standards be assessed by the PARCC assessments?
No, the 15% additional ELA standards will not be assessed at the state level through the PARCC assessments; however, implementing these standards is required and progress may be monitored at the district and/or school level. According to state ruling NMAC 6.29.13, this set of standards shall be utilized in conjunction with the Common Core State Standards. Teaching and learning within a cultural setting serves to support the following CCSS expectations:

  • Build a foundation for college and career readiness, students need to learn to use writing as a way of offering and supporting opinions, demonstrating understanding of the subjects they are studying, and conveying real and imagined experiences and events.
  • Identify real-life connections between words and their use.
  • Students in K–5 apply the Reading standards to a range of text types selected from a broad range of cultures and periods including children’s adventure stories, folktales, legends, fables, fantasy, realistic fiction, and myth.
  • Students in grades 6–12 apply the Reading standards a range of text types selected from a broad range of cultures and periods including the subgenres of adventure stories, historical fiction, mysteries, myths, science fiction, realistic fiction, allegories, parodies, satire, and graphic novels.

 

Q: Are there Common Core State Standards for social studies and science?
There are not currently Common Core State Standards for science or social studies. The Next Generation Science Standards are currently under development and not yet ready for adoption.

The NMCCSS for English Language Arts contain literacy standards to be implemented in social studies, science, and technical subjects. Just as students must learn to read, write, speak, listen, and use language effectively in a variety of content areas, so too must the standards specify the literacy skills and understandings required for college and career readiness in multiple disciplines. Literacy standards for grade 6 and above are predicated on teachers of ELA, history/social studies, science, and technical subjects using their content area expertise to help students meet the particular challenges of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in their respective fields. It is important to note that the 6–12 literacy standards in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects are not meant to replace content standards in those areas but rather to supplement them.

Learn more about the literacy standards at: http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards/english-language-arts-standards

Learn more about about the Next Generation Science Standards at: http://www.nextgenscience.org/

Q: Is the diagnostic tool mentioned in the NMCCSS Implementation Plan mandatory and where can it be found?
The diagnostic tool located online at the NMCCSS website is provided as a resource to districts to assist them in self-assessing the extent to which they are already undertaking the essential elements of implementing the New Mexico Common Core State Standards. The instrument was adapted from the Common Core Implementation Workbook developed by Achieve and the U.S. Education Delivery Institute (Edi). Its rubric format lists relevant guiding questions and lays out guideposts ranging from 1 (weak) to 4 (strong). Although not mandatory, districts are encouraged to consider utilizing portions or the complete resource as a needs-assessment and progress monitoring tool depending on their current stage of implementation. Districts may also use an alternate diagnostic instrument of their choice.

Click to access diagnostic tool. (not yet available)

 

Curriculum & Instruction:

Q: Will the academic vocabulary be consistent across the state by grade level or will it be a district decision?
In order to promote consistency and continuity, it is recommended that districts develop a common language in implementing the Common Core State Standards. The following provide an overview of terms and phrases to be used state-wide: 


English Language Arts (ELA) / Literacy: A glossary of ELA/literacy key terms is found within Appendix A of the ELA/Literacy Common Core State Standards on pages 42-43. http://www.corestandards.org/assets/Appendix_A.pdf

 

Mathematics: A glossary of key math terms provided by the Common Core State Standards Initiative is found online at: http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards/mathematics/glossary/glossary/


Gifted Education:
Definitions of the key terms used through the discussion of the Common Core State Standards and the Standards' relationship to gifted and talented education provided by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) http://www.nagc.org/index2.aspx?id=8988

 

Higher Education:

Q: How will institutions of Higher Education be involved in the transition to Common Core State Standards?
The NMPED Implementation Plan for strengthening the PK-16 continuum by engaging higher education more fully in school improvement as follows:

  • Utilizing the Implementing the Common Core State Standards: An Action Agenda for Higher Education[1] published by Achieve, American Council on Education (ACE) and State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO).
  • Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) are largely responsible for pre-service and in-service teacher training; therefore, steps will be taken to connect the CCSS to college curriculums including the development of transitional coursework, bridge programs, accelerated learning opportunities, student support, intervention systems and college & career readiness advising.
  • New Mexico State University (NMSU) will serve as lead in establishing a network of institutional partners.
  • NMPED has partnered with New Mexico State University (NMSU) as a professional development provider through:

- Mathematically Connected Communities (MC2)

- Leadership Institute for Teachers (LIFT)

- Scaling Up Mathematics Achievement(SUMA)

- ELA/Literacy Launch Team

 

Rural Districts:

Q: What support will rural districts receive in implementing the CCSS?
All districts will be provided with the same resources and professional development opportunities; however, how small, rural schools leverage their unique features to maximize their utilization of these will be key. Recommendations include:

  • Small enrollments means that everyone wears many hats; therefore, extra “helping hands” will be needed may be found in the following:

- Parents can offer extra help but more importantly they provide the continuity that sustains efforts in rural schools.

- Students can provide the leadership and human resources to carry out school, tribal, and community needs assessment and/or progress monitoring surveys including presentations of results to district leadership teams.

- Networking and collaboration can help rural districts build on their current capabilities by sharing NMCCSS implementation strategies both within and across districts affording them more mileage from limited financial resources.

- Technology is a powerful tool in implementing the CCSS and can be used not only for the dissemination of information and sharing strategies but for conducting online collaboration of lesson planning and development of instructional units.

 

Rural districts wishing to train all their K-12 teachers at once and not group their teachers by K-3 and 4-12 may begin their own in-depth ongoing study of the standards and the following:

- Capacities of the Literate Individual (NMCCSS Implementation Plan Table 4-B)

- English Language Arts Shifts in Instruction (NMCCSS Implementation Plan Table 4-C)

- Reading and Writing Framework Shifts in Instruction (NMCCSS Implementation Plan Table 4-D)

- Mathematical Practices (NMCCSS Implementation Plan Table 4-E)

- Mathematics Shifts in Instruction (NMCCSS Implementation Plan Table 4-F)

 

The summer CCSS academies scheduled for 2012 (grades K-3), 2013 (grades 4-12) and 2014 (grades 3-12) will not be the only resources and professional development opportunities provided by the NMPED.

Click to view listing of professional development offerings.

Click to view listing of professional resources

  • The remote and isolated locations where rural districts reside are actually a prime motivator. Due to limited access to outside resources, things get created and accomplished in ingenious ways. Necessity becomes the mother of invention.
  • Typically there is less bureaucracy within rural districts which, in turn, means that there is a high degree of responsibility and autonomy in individual staff members. This flexibility makes things happen faster and with less paperwork. For example, decisions regarding professional development can be delivered in ways that best serve their individual needs.
  • The power of well-established and/or ethnically unique cultural norms and tradition often found within rural districts is huge. Getting change grounded into the culture of the district and community is essential or it will “slide back”.


Students with Disabilities (SWD):

Q: What support will be provided for students with disabilities for CCSS implementation?
Professional development as listed above will be provided. In addition the CCSS offers applications for students with disabilities found in the expanded version of the CCSS on pages ix-x.

Click to access CCSS expanded version.

Q: Will alternate standards be developed for intellectually disabled students?
The NMPED will discuss collaboration with Delaware and other interested states in developing CCSS aligned extended grade band expectations (EGBEs) for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

 



[11] Cummins’ BICS/CALP/Quadrants http://esl.fis.edu/teachers/support/cummin.htm


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