You are on page 1of 5

teach learn assess


cae | 215 Lexington Avenue, Floor 16 | New York, NY 10016 | | 212.217.0700 | @cla_beat

The skills needed by todays students are far greater than those required of students just a decade or so ago. Students can no longer rely solely on collection and mastery of disciplinarybased information. Rather, they need to be able analyze and evaluate information, solve problems, and communicate effectively to a variety of audiences. Content, distributed over the internet, is increasingly free and tremendously easy to access. While students have a massive amount of information available at their fingertips, they need to be able to successfully process that information, make sense of it, and evaluate and apply it to real world settings. In short, they need to exhibit the ability to think critically. But how do we know if students possess this ability? Since 2002, CAE has pioneered the use of performance-based assessments for determining whether students can, indeed, make use of information in a sufficiently critical way. To date over 700 institutions--both in the United States and internationally--have participated in our performance assessments, either through the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) or the College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA). Performance assessments--constructed response instruments that require students to demonstrate their ability to perform --are directly aligned with current reform efforts in the improvement and evolution of teaching and learning. When the CWRA was founded, these performance assessments were designed to provide high school educators with evidence about how their students as a whole were performing on the 21st Century skills measured by the CWRA.

We are pleased to announce that through the next iteration of the CWRA, CWRA+, we are now able to provide this same information at the individual-student level. CWRA+ retains aspects of the CWRA that have made it novel and indispensible for educational improvement. Chief among these retentions is the Performance Task. An improved version of the Performance Task remains the anchor of CWRA+, but is now combined with a selected response section (modeled on and aligned to the Performance Tasks themselves). Selected response items improve the precision of student-level results, meaning that these data points may now be used by faculty to provide direct, formative feedback to students, or for use in making individualized decisions about grading, scholarships, admission, or placement. These additional uses are facilitated by new--common-core aligned--subscore categories, expanded norming groups (such as independent schools), and criterion-referenced proficiency levels that indicate how well students have mastered the skills measured by CWRA+. Were also pleased to announce that, for the first time, middle schools may participate in CWRA+ through the assessment of their 8th grade students. Our fundamental goal at CAE has been and remains the better alignment of assessment with teaching and learning. It is with this goal in mind that we are pleased to introduce CWRA+.

We need to insist on a combination of locally developed assessments and new nationally-normed online tests, such as the CWRA, that measure students analyticreasoning, critical thinking, problem-solving, and writing skills. Tony Wagner, Rigor Redefined I think most people would agree that the skills like critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing -- the skills that CAE does measure -- are pretty important. Bill Gates, The Gates Notes

performance tasks

sample prompts cwra+

selected response
ductivity college llege Are grades in college and overall productivity in coll negatively affected by a students use of social networks? A group of researchers hypothesized that students who use social networks on a regular basis get lower grades in college than students who do not. In order to test this hypothesis, researchers collected data from students at a large university. The researchers stood on a popular corner of campus and asked 50 students to answer a few questions.

The Newmont School Board is deciding whether or not to build a new gymnasium for Newmont High School. There has been some controversy in the community regarding whether resources should be spent to build the new gymnasium. The School Board, which is responsible for making this decision, has The city of Springfield is deciding wheter to implement a tax on collected several documents to help them make their decision. junk food. Some citizens of Springfield believe that junk food is Some board members feel this is an unnecessary expenditure, the cause of the obesity epidemic in their city. Others believe particularly given Newmonts limited resources. Other members that individuals have the right to consume whatever foods they feel that there are considerable benefits to building the new choose and citizens should not be taxed for purchasing foods gymnasium. that are high in fat, sugar, or sodium. The representatives in Springfields senate are deciding whether to implement this tax. As the chair of a special committee on the board, your task is to As an intern for one of the senators, you have been asked to write a memo that addresses whether the Springfield senate should implement a tax on junk food. Draw evidence from the following documents: An abstract from a study reporting a relationship between obesity and junk food consumption A political cartoon depicting how taxing junk food affects the under-priviledged A blog posting for people that support healthy eating write a recommendation that addresses whether the Newmont School Board should build the new gymnaisum. Draw evidence from the following documents: A survey of townspeople reflecting a belief that the district cannot afford to build the gym A cost analysis to build the gymnasium, including a budget for the town An Engineers report on the structural status of the current gymansium A blueprint showing the specfications of the new gymnasium

Researchers found that 75% of the students said that they did not think that spending time social networking interfered with their grades. The researchers decided to compare the average amount of time that students spend on social networks each week with each students GPA. Based on the results, researchers conducted that their hypothesis is correct: students who social network on a regular basis do worse in college than students who do not. The researchers would like to conduct another study to see if their hypothesis holds true. Which of the following research designs will best test their hypothesis? (A) Ask the same questions at the same university but to a different group of people. (B) Ask the same set of questions but at a different large university. (C) Ask a different set of questions at a different large university. (D) Ask the same questions but at numerous universities of varying sizes. Students are alloted 30 minutes to take 25 selected response items, designed not to assess their mastery of content, but rather their ability to scientifically and quantitatively reason, read and evaluate information with a critical eye, and critique faulty arguments.

Students take 60 minutes to complete a single Performance Task, designed to, among other things, measure their ability to problem solve, analytically reason, write effectively and exhibit standards of writing mechanics.

cae | 215 Lexington Avenue, Floor 16 | New York, NY 10016 | | 212.217.0700 | @cla_beat

Thank you for participating in the CWRA+. We hope your high school finds the below information helpful in your larger educational improvement efforts. CWRA staff welcome any questions you may have about interpreting this report. Further, feedback on the usefulness of the report itself is also always welcome.

high school institutional report cwra+

national performance
total possible sophomores sophomores freshmen seniors seniors juniors juniors

your overall performance


this to me
The total CWRA+ score is determined by students combined performance on a Performance Task and a set of Selected Response items. These scores are further informed by student traits, as represented by the subscore categories of analysis & problem solving, writing effectiveness, etc. You may choose to compare your scores to the national norms to get a sense for how well your students compare against other students across the country. If your institution assessed a freshmen cohort and any other class (sophomores, juniors, seniors), we are able to provide value-added information in the form of effect sizes, which take into consideration the varying characteristics of students when they entered your (and other) high schools. Thus, comparisons across institutions can be made on an even playing field. Recognizing that participating schools may have a variety of needs for comparative purposes, a number of different perspectives on normative performance are provided (where applicable). Note that the population of institutions and/or students that make up these figures may not be nationally representative.

total cla+
effect size vs. freshmen performance task analysis & problem solving writing effectiveness writing mechanics selected response scientific/quantitative reasoning critical reading & evaluation critique an argument


1184 0.25 1178 3.1 3.2 3.3 1190 4.0 4.2 2.3

1214 0.54 1216 3.6 3.6 3.8 1213 5.1 5.4 3.6

1245 0.89 1254 3.9 4.1 4.3 1236 6.8 6.5 3.9 6 6 6


1088 0.19 1089 2.9 2.7 2.9 1085 4.0 4.3 2.2

1125 0.49 1124 3.3 3.4 3.3 1126 4.8 5.1 2.9

1170 0.77 1173 3.5 3.7 3.5 1168 6.3 6.4 3.2

1102 2.6 2.5 2.7 1096 3.2 3.4 1.9

1052 2.4 2.5 2.4 1043 3.1 3.2 1.4

10 10 5

other norms
900 your school your district all pubic schools all NAIS schools all schools freshmen sophomores juniors seniors 1000 1100 1200 1300

cae | 215 Lexington Avenue, Floor 16 | New York, NY 10016 | | 212.217.0700 | @cla_beat

Thank you for participating in the CWRA+. This assessment--unlike more common tests--focuses on the general outcomes of your education; namely, your ability to think critically, problem-solve, and write. These are the types of higher-order skills that are increasingly necessary for success in and beyond college.

jane doe student report cwra+


jane doe
elite high school senior total cwra+: performance task: selected response:
your overall performance
asverage at your institution (other seniors) out of possible average at all institutions (other seniors) your score

1381 1343 1418

performance task selected response percentile rank among students at your institution percentile rank among students at all institutions

percentile ranks
within your institution (other seniors) across all institutions (other seniors)


this to me

total cwra+
performance task analysis & problem solving writing effectiveness writing mechanics




99 85 98

95 83 97

Your total CWRA+ score is determined by your combined performance on a Performance Task and a set of Selected Response items. These scores are further informed by specific traits, such as analysis & problem solving or writing effectiveness. You may choose to compare your scores to the averages of other CWRA+ students at your institution or across all institutions. For ease of intrepetation, these comparisons are provided as percentile ranks for your total CWRA+ score, your performance task score and your selected reponse score (e.g. a percentile of 95% means you performed better than 95% of your classmates or all students, respectively). We hope youll use this report to assess how prepared you are with the skills necessary to succeed in and beyond college. As applicable, we encourage you to review these scores with your teachers and--depending on how well you feel you performed--provide them to any colleges you might consider applying to.

1343 4 5 4

1254 3.9 4.1 4.3 1236 6.8 6.5 3.9

1173 3.5 3.7 3.9 1168 6.3 6.4 3.2 10 10 5 6 6 6

selected response 1418 scientific/quantitative reasoning 9 critical reading & evaluation 8 critique an argument 4

cae | 215 Lexington Avenue, Floor 16 | New York, NY 10016 | | 212.217.0700 | @cla_beat