Academic standards define the knowledge and skills students must develop during their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The standards are aligned with college and work expectations; are clear, understandable and consistent; include rigorous content and application of knowledge through higher-order skills; build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards; are informed by other top performing countries so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and are evidence-based.
Assessment refers to the process through which educators and other stakeholders monitor student progress. When used effectively, assessment results inform the interventions that teachers, administrators, policymakers, and other stakeholders can employ to address challenges with student learning. Assessment varies in terms of frequency, purpose, and audience; thus, a diversity of assessment instruments and practices are needed to support high-quality teaching and learning. These range from formative activities that are part of daily interactions between teachers and their students to high-profile state-administered summative assessments that drive accountability decisions.
The California Collaborative has been among many organizations on the forefront of standards adoption and implementation efforts, exploring the essential roles of standards, assessments, and instruction in maximizing learning opportunities for students. Our district leaders guide promising capacity building efforts at the local level and the Collaborative and has been actively engaged in building the knowledge base and sharing best practices among our members and with districts across the state.