MESSAGES 2012 :: OCTOBER 11, 2012

OCTOBER 11, 2012 - Teachers' Biweekly Messages

As I have the opportunity to talk with teachers across North Carolina, I am receiving very positive feedback about the Common Core State Standards and the new Essential Standards in other subjects. I also am hearing continued anxiety and questions about the new education effectiveness model, especially the addition of the "sixth standard" that incorporates students' academic growth into your evaluation tool. Information about all six standards in the evaluation model is available online at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/educatoreffect/ . I know that it is not enough to simply post material online, however, so we are holding several webinar opportunities to help address your questions and concerns. Items 7 and 8 below provide details on two webinars, and a Nov. 1 webinar invitation will be coming to you by separate email cover. One important point to remember about the evaluation model is that the sixth standard will only be used once a teacher has a three-year rolling average of student growth data, with this year being the first and baseline year. I look forward to continued dialog and communication with you as we move forward.

June Atkinson

In this Biweekly Teachers' Message:

  1. State Board of Education Meeting Highlights
  2. State Board of Education Adopts Vision of Public Education in North Carolina
  3. Online Assessments for 2012-13
  4. The Online Assessment Tutorial
  5. 2012-13 Assessment Reminders for Algebra I/Integrated I and ELA
  6. New Formative Assessment Plans Available
  7. Register for Webinar on Common Exams
  8. Webinar Addresses Accountability, Testing and Common Exams
  9. Webinars Scheduled on "Advanced Content for Teachers of Advanced Math and Science Learners"
  10. IIS or ISS? Which One and What Does it Mean?
  11. North Carolina Students Represent at 2012 FCCLA National Leadership Conference
  12. NCDOT Bridge Building Competition

State Board of Education Meeting Highlights

At last Thursday's State Board meeting, members adopted a vision of public education in North Carolina (see next item), the Annual Teacher Turnover Report, the CPR graduation requirement (effective 2014-15 school year) and changes to State Board policy concerning teacher effectiveness standards. Members received a report on care for school children with diabetes, and discussed Career and Technical Education revisions to the Essential Standards, dual credit for Career and College Promise, and their 2013-15 Biennial Budget requests. A summary of Board action items is available online at http://stateboard.ncpublicschools.gov/ (click on Board Actions).

State Board of Education Adopts Vision of Public Education in North Carolina

The North Carolina State Board of Education today adopted the "Vision of Public Education in North Carolina: A Great Public Education System for a Great State" to guide their work and encourage a shared commitment to assuring a strong, flexible and coherent education system that serves all students and that is geared toward the promotion of the public interest. The vision statement is the culmination of work the Board began in 2011 and reflects input from hundreds of education, business and community leaders. To read the full vision statement, visit www.ncpublicschools.org and select the appropriate link under "News."

Online Assessments for 2012-13

End-of-course (EOC) assessments have been available to be administered online since 2007. For the 2012-13 school year, the EOC assessments will continue to be available online along with the science end-of-grade (EOG) assessment and all NCEXTEND2 assessments. In summary, the following assessments will be available through the NCTest online assessment system:

  • Algebra I/ Integrated I EOC;
  • Biology EOC;
  • English II EOC;
  • Grades 5 and 8 Science EOG; and
  • NCEXTEND2 (EOC assessments in Biology, English II, Algebra I/Integrated I, and EOG assessments in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Grades 5 and 8 Science)

Paper-and-pencil versions of these assessments will be available for order, but the NCDPI strongly encourages administering these assessments online. Additional information is available online at www.ncpublicschools.org/accountability/testing . Questions regarding these online assessments may be directed to Kayla Siler at Kayla.Siler@dpi.nc.gov.

The Online Assessment Tutorial

Would you like to know what the online assessment system looks like? Would you like your students to be able to practice navigating through an online assessment, using the tools (e.g., flag, strike, highlight) and complete sample items? Then you may want to check out the Online Assessment Tutorial available at http://go.ncsu.edu/nctdemo . The purpose of the Online Assessment Tutorial is to provide teachers, students and parents with an interactive experience closely resembling an online test administration. Using the Online Assessment Tutorial, students can:

  • practice answering questions while becoming familiar with the new item types (e.g., technology enhanced, short answer, numerical entry);
  • learn how to navigate the pages; and
  • use the tools that are available in the system (e.g., flag, strike, highlight).

Beginning this school year, schools must implement a process to ensure that every student who will participate in an online assessment completes the Online Assessment Tutorial for the assessment at least once at school before test day. The process must be documented in the school's testing plan. For more information, please contact Kayla Siler at Kayla.Siler@dpi.nc.gov .

2012-13 Assessment Reminders for Algebra I/Integrated I and ELA

Algebra I/Integrated Math I: The following chart provides the required mathematics assessments based on the course of study for the 2012-13 school year. As a reminder, all students must have a test score for Algebra I or Algebra I/Integrated I by the end of their 10th grade year for federal reporting of Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs).

2010 CCSS Algebra I or Integrated I (1) Algebra I/ Integrated I
2010 CCSS Math I (local option) (1)Algebra I/ Integrated I
2010 CCSS Transitional Course (2)No Assessment
1. The NCEXTEND2 is available for students who meet the eligibility criteria.

2. The 2012-13 transitional course is recommended for current (2011-12) students enrolled in Algebra I who do not demonstrate mastery of the current content standards. The transitional course is an elective, and it will provide an opportunity for instruction on the Algebra I/Integrated I Common Core State Standards prior to this cohort taking geometry in 2013-14.

English II: Participation in an end-of-course assessment is based on enrollment in the course. Students currently enrolled for credit in English II for the 2012-13 school year, must participate in the English II assessment (i.e., based on the 2010 Common Core State Standards).

The 2012-13 Courses for Credit Requiring the North Carolina READY End-of-Course Assessment or READY NCEXTEND2 End-of-Course Assessment document provides additional information and a list of course codes that require the administration of the appropriate EOC assessment. This document is available at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/accountability/testing/eoc/ . For more information, please contact Kayla Siler at Kayla.siler@dpi.nc.gov or visit http://www.ncpublicschools.org/accountability/testing/ .

New Formative Assessment Plans Available

New formative assessment plans developed by North Carolina teachers aligned to the Common Core State Standards and the NC Essential Standards have been created to support the formative assessment principles outlined in NC FALCON. Formative assessment plans are available for the following content and program areas (at various grade levels/subjects):

  • Arts Education
  • Career and Technical Education
  • English as a Second Language
  • English Language Arts
  • Healthful Living
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • World Languages
  • Pre-Kindergarten

After logging into NC FALCON (http://center.ncsu.edu/nc/), the plans can be found under the heading "Formative Assessment Plans." Please share this information with other educators. Any questions should be directed to Carmella Fair, NC FALCON coordinator, at carmella.fair@dpi.nc.gov.

Register for Webinar on the Common Exams

Join the NCDPI and the NC Association of Educators for a webinar on the new Common Exams (formerly referred to as Measures of Student Learning). Find out more about the creation of these new assessments, and how they will be used in the sixth standard rating for teachers. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 24, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/217537432 . Please contact Jennifer Preston with the NCDPI at jennifer.preston@dpi.nc.gov or Angela Farthing with the NCAE at Angela.Farthing@ncae.org with questions.

Webinar Addresses Accountability, Testing and Common Exams

On Oct. 25 from 3:30-5 p.m., the NCDPI Accountability Services staff and the Race to the Top Project Coordinator for Educator Effectiveness will host an informational webinar on the state's new accountability model, the new end-of-course and end-of-grade assessments, and the Common Exams (formerly known as Measures of Student Learning). The primary audience for this webinar is principals and classroom teachers. Space is limited, so please register early. The webinar will be recorded and made available, along with any documents/resources presented during the webinar, on the Accountability Services web page. To register, please visit https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/874219937 .

Webinars Scheduled on "Advanced Content for Teachers of Advanced Math and Science Learners"

The NCDPI will host professional development webinars focused on "Advanced Content for Teachers of Advanced Learners in Math and Science." This series is developed in partnership with NC School of Science and Mathematics. These one-hour webinar sessions are open to all interested personnel and do not require registration. For the most part, the sessions are geared toward grades 6-12. Topics range from Recursion to Biomimicry to Integrating "E" in STEM. The series will run from October through April 2013 with the first science session on Oct. 9 and the first math session on Oct. 23. Attend one or all sessions. Sessions will be archived and posted on NCDPI iTunesU site (www.ncpublicschools.org/itunesu/) if you cannot attend. Please see attached flier for more information and registration links.

IIS or ISS? Which One and What Does it Mean?

How many times have you called the Instructional Improvement System the ISS instead of the IIS? Doesn't ISS stand for In School Suspension? How can we keep it straight? Good news, the NC Department of Public Instruction has been working on a new name for the IIS – without an acronym! Look for more information about the new name soon.

North Carolina Students Represent at 2012 FCCLA National Leadership Conference

Over 245 North Carolina students represented their school chapters in the 2012 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla. In addition to attending several leadership workshops, students had an opportunity to participate in STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) events. STAR events, which are designed to support and enhance college and career-readiness, leadership, management, and problem-solving skills, award students gold, silver or bronze ratings based on their mastery of the event specifications. North Carolina had 141 participants to advance to the national competition where they were among 3,700 competitors in 31 different STAR events. North Carolina students were very successful in the competitions earning 18 bronze, 69 silver and 54 gold awards. For more information, please contact Janet Johnson, NC FCCLA state advisor, at janet.johnson@dpi.nc.gov or visit www.ncfccla.org to learn more about FCCLA in North Carolina.

NCDOT Bridge Building Competition

The NC Department of Transportation invites all North Carolina middle and high school students to participate in the 14th Annual NCDOT Statewide Model Bridge Building Competition. The competition is designed to create a greater awareness of careers in transportation, construction, engineering and the services provided by the NCDOT. The competition also gives students an opportunity to work in groups to learn problem-solving strategies and utilize critical thinking skills, while making the connection between what is taught in the classroom and real world applications. The registration deadline is Dec. 7. Regional competitions will be held in March with the state competition held in April. To register, please visit www.ncdot.org/about/kids/BridgeComp .