• Understand how CCSS-aligned assessment is different

    All of the mini-assessments presented are designed to highlight one or more aspects of the ELA/Literacy Shifts. Although aligned to the CCSS, these items also represent the demands of all college- and career- readiness standards in their call for close reading, appropriately complex texts, and use of evidence.

    The resources below explain what is included in each mini-assessment and what each of the Shifts look like in CCSS-aligned assessment. Learn more about the ELA/Literacy Shifts

  • What's Included in the Mini-assessments

    Each mini-assessment contains a passage or passages and a set of associated items. In addition, teachers can review text complexity worksheets for each passage. Each worksheet provides a detailed analysis of the specific elements that make each text complex.  Each mini-assessment also contains rationales for each distractor associated with a test question, detailing why each option would be considered correct or incorrect. After students have completed a mini-assessment, teachers can use the rationales to facilitate discussion around the test questions, guiding students back to the text to reinforce close reading and use of evidence. 

  • Complexity: Regular practice with Complex Text and its Academic Language

    How are CCSS-aligned assessments different from previous assessments?

    Previous CCSS-Aligned
    Little emphasis on text complexity Strong emphasis on text complexity
    Vocabulary questions often focused on prior knowledge rather than context; little emphasis on tier 2 words Vocabulary questions focused on meaning of words in context; strong emphasis on tier 2 words and words important to central ideas 
    Figurative language questions focused on literary terms Figurative language questions focused on meaning, not terms 
  • Evidence: Reading, Writing and Speaking Grounded in Evidence from Text, both Literary and Informational

    How are CCSS-aligned assessments different from previous assessments?

    Previous CCSS-Aligned
    Focus on simple recall or superficial analysis Focus on careful reading and analysis of texts
    Little or no emphasis on using textual evidence Strong emphasis on using textual evidence
    Decontextualized writing prompts Writing to sources
  • Knowledge: Building Knowledge through Content-rich Nonfiction

    How are CCSS-aligned assessments different from previous assessments?

    Previous CCSS-Aligned
    Equal representation of informational and literary texts; limited focus on the quality of informational texts More informational texts as students move through the grades; greater focus on content-rich informational texts at all grades
  • Recognize Alignment in Assessment

    These assessments are designed for teachers to use in the classroom or for professional learning. Below is a resource with illustrations of what the literacy Shifts look like in CCSS-aligned assessment. See examples of test questions, passages, and writing prompts and learn about what's different with CCSS assessment -- and why.

  • Educator Perspectives: Common Core Aligned Assessment

    Teachers share stories of how their students are responding to shifts in assessment. New college and career ready standards are asking more of our students; here, teachers reflect on how aligned assessments support the hard work happening in classrooms and how students are rising to meet these higher expectations.

    • Educator Perspectives: Common Core Aligned Assessment Video