NEW YORK, NY – January 11, 2011: The Council for Aid to Education (CAE) has begun a two-year project to examine the relationship
between mastery of the Common Core State Standards and actual success in the first-year of college. The project, funded by the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation and conducted through CAE’s new Institute for Performance Assessment, will result in the development of
complex performance tasks to assess aspects of the Common Core State Standards aligned with college readiness. Ultimately, the
project aims to illustrate the effective use of performance tasks on a large scale and provide a clearer picture of what it means to be
college ready.

Forty one states have already adopted the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts, and two multi-
state consortia have received a combined $330 million in Race to the Top Assessment Grants to develop comprehensive assessment
systems aligned with the standards. This initiative’s potential impact on the national K-12 landscape comes with commensurate need
to demonstrate that these standards and accompanying assessment programs represent a move in the right direction.

Related to these efforts, the first major goal of this project is to develop a suite of assessment tasks aligned with the Common Core
State Standards. To this end, CAE will build on its experience developing open-ended performance assessments to measure critical
thinking and writing for the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) and the College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA). The
experience gained through developing these new tasks, administering them to a large sample of students, and scoring them will
provide a valuable picture of what effort and costs will be required to employ such tasks in a large-scale testing environment.

The second aspect of this project concerns the validation of the assessment tasks. The new tasks will be administered to a large
number of entering first-year college students in the fall semester of 2011. End-of-year outcomes such as grades and persistence will
be collected the following spring. These data will be analyzed to examine whether students who perform well on the assessments tend
to have better first-year academic outcomes. Additional analyses will reveal whether performance on these assessments improve the
prediction of first-year academic outcomes (over high school GPA and college admissions tests).

A report on assessment development is planned for release in February 2012, and a report on the validation analysis is planned for
release in August 2012.

CAE is a non-profit organization founded in 1952 to advance corporate support of education and conduct policy research on higher
education ( Currently, CAE is best known for its work focusing on measuring and improving the quality of secondary and
postsecondary education. CAE has two nationwide assessment programs: the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) and the College
and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA).
CAE Begins Common Core State Standards Assessment Research
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Contact: Jeffrey Steedle, Ph.D
Phone: (212) 217-0728
Email: [email protected]