Document 10916145




Wednesday,  March  7,  2012  

If  you  know  someone  who  would  like  to  be  on  this  listserv,  please  send  their  email  address  to



***PLEASE  NOTE:  Each  entry  in  this  Weekly  Update  features  the   email  address  of  at  least  one   contact   person,  department  or  website.    For  questions,  concerns  or  technical  assistance,  please  email  the   appropriate  contact(s)  directly.  Thanks!  


  Archived  Race  to  the  Top  Weekly  Updates  are  available  here:  




Next  Generation  Assessments:  Benefits  of  Online  Assessments  

Online  Writing  Instruction  Update      

Graphic  Organizers  Posted  for  LEA  and  Charter  School  Use  

CCSSO  Common  Core  State  Standards:  Implementation  Tools  and  Resources  (PDF  attached)  

RFP  for  IIS  posted  

Registration  for  2012  Summer  Institutes  


North  Carolina  Professional  Teaching  Standards  Module  

Professional  Development  Dates  for  March  (UDPATE)  



Dr.  Atkinson  announces  IIS  Resource  Consortium  

Next  Generation  Assessments:  Why  Online?  

Race  to  the  Top  Teacher  and  Principal  Survey  through  March  30  




Next  Generation  Assessments:  Benefits  of  Online  Assessments  

There  are  several  benefits  to  administering  assessments  online  versus  a  paper  and  pencil  option.  By   moving  to  online  assessment,  we  can  offer  assessments  that  are  increasingly  multi-­‐part,  media-­‐ enhanced  and  performance  based,  and  which  better  represent  the  depth  intended  in  the  new   standards.  Another  benefit  is  the  availability   of  Computer  Reads  Test  Aloud  –  Student  Controlled   accommodation  for  eligible  students.  The  online  assessments  also  offer  several  universal  design  features   such  as  larger  font  sizes  and  adjustable  background  colors.  The  following  is  a  list  of  benefits  of  the  new   online  assessments.    

-­‐ Universal  Design  


Designed  for  increased  accessibility  

One  item  per  test  page  

Large  font  

Foreground/background  color  schemes  


Virtual  highlighter  and  calculator  

-­‐ Computer  Reads  Test  Aloud  –  Student  Controlled  Accommodation  

-­‐ Student  Engagement  

-­‐ Technology  Enhanced/Interactive  Items  

-­‐ Flexible  scheduling/staffing  (decreased  test  time  and  changes  to  testing  windows)  

-­‐ Storage  Space  

-­‐ Test  Security  

-­‐ Reporting  

-­‐ Environmentally  Friendly  

-­‐ Cost-­‐effective  


To  learn  more  about  the  benefits  and  timeline  for  transitioning  to  online  assessments,  please  visit  the   online  assessment  website  at    



MORE  INFO:   Kayla  Siler,  

Online  Writing  Instruction  Update      

North  Carolina  is  implementing  a  new  system  for  writing  instruction  designed  to  provide  students  with   opportunities  to  have  a  variety  of  experiences  with  writing  across  disciplines  and  throughout  the  school   year.  Online  Writing  Instruction  is  not  an  assessment,  but  instead  a  formative  tool  to  monitor  students’   progress  in  writing  and  to  adjust  instruction  accordingly.  The  new  system  for  Online  Writing  Instruction   replaces  the  previous  Writing  Instruction  System  that  was  used  in  2009-­‐10  and  2010-­‐11.  Unlike  the   former  Writing  Instruction  System,  there  is  no  required  number  of  writing  tasks  to  be  completed  and  it   is  no  longer  a  requirement  for  LEAs.  It  is,  however,  strongly  encouraged  for  instructional  use  because   writing  is  integrated  into  the  Common  Core  State  Standards  for  Literacy  in  History/Social  Studies,  

Science  and  Technical  Subjects.  Visit  NC  Education  at  to  access  writing  tasks   by  discipline,  Common  Core  Appendix  C  Samples  of  Student  Writing,  and  Writing  Standards  for  Literacy   in  History/Social  Studies,  Science,  and  Technical  Subjects.  

The  following  tasks  have  been  completed:  

-­‐    Inventoried  the  number  of  writing  tasks  by  discipline.  

-­‐    Created  cover  page  which  includes  Online  Writing  Instruction  description  and  updates.  

-­‐    Created  folders  by  discipline  and  grade  level  in  NC  Education.  

-­‐    Inserted  writing  tasks  by  grade  level  into  folders  for  the  Arts,  Social  Studies,  Science,  World  Languages,  

English  Language  Arts,  and  Healthful  Living.  

-­‐    Created  a  folder  with  the  Writing  Standards  for  Literacy  in  History/Social  Studies,  Science  and  

Technical  Subjects.  

-­‐    Created  folder  with  samples  of  student  writing  from  Appendix  C  of  Common  Core.  


MORE  INFO:  Anna  Frost,


Graphic  Organizers  Posted  for  LEA  and  Charter  School  Use  

NCDPI  has  released  sample  graphic  organizers  for  schools  to  use  as  part  of  their  instructional  toolkit.    

Research  supports  the  utilization  of  graphic  organizers  as  a  contributing  factor  in  improving  student   performance.    The  examples  provided  are  to  model  varied  organizers  and  their  use  in  provoking  student   engagement,  organization  and  understanding,  thus  equipping  the  teacher  with  the  knowledge  to   develop  and  use  such  tools  effectively  with  the  new  standards.    The  graphic  organizers  are  located  at­‐tools/#organizers.    

MORE  INFO:  Maria  Pitre-­‐Martin,  or  Tracey  Greggs,    

CCSSO  Common  Core  State  Standards:  Implementation  Tools  and  Resources  (PDF  attached)  

CCSSO  has  developed  a  list  of  tools  and  resources  pointing  states  to  promising  practices  and  tools  to   support  the  implementation  of  Common  Core  State  Standards  for  Math  and  ELA.    The  resources  are   identified  by  the  following  categories:  

Information  about  the  Standards  for  Parents,  Teachers,  Principals  and  Higher  Education  

Resources  for  State  and  District  Leaders  

Common  Core  State  Standards  for  Mathematics  Resources  

Common  Core  State  Standards  for  ELA  Resources    

Implementation  Resources  Created  by  States  

Assessment  Consortia  Information  


Common  Core  Directory  -­‐-­‐   Do  you  have  questions  about  the  Common  Core  State  and  North  Carolina  

Essential  Standards  or  the  online  resources  and  don't  know  to  whom  you  should  direct  your   question?    For  quick  access  to  DPI  staff,  visit  the  directory  at  http://  for  names  and  contact  information.


MORE  INFO:  Tracey  Greggs,  

RFP  for  IIS  posted  

The  Request  for  Proposals  (RFPs)  for  the  development  of  the  Instructional  Improvement  System  (IIP)  has   now  been  posted  online.    Those  who  are  interested  in  reviewing  the  RFP,  please  visit  We  are  now  on  our  way  to  making  this   system  a  reality!  

MORE  INFO:     Eric  Moore,  

Registration  for  2012  Summer  Institutes  

RttT  Coordinators  for  each  LEA  and  RttT  Charters  received  information  earlier  this  month  about  the   expectations  of  the  leadership  team  attending  the  2012  Summer  Institutes.    Before  the  registration   window  opens,  the  RttT  Coordinator  will  update  the  list  of  members  representing  the  district/school  PD  

Leadership  Team  attending  the  2012  Summer  Institutes.     Note:    While  some  participant  representation   may  change,  these  institutes  are  for  the  same  leadership  team  that  attended  last  year.    Should  many   changes  be  required,  team  participants  need  to  update  new  attendees.


This  year,  registration  will  be  through  NC  Education.    Participants  will  need  their  username  and   password  to  register.    Registration  for  all  LEAs  and  Charters  will  launch  on   Friday,  March  8  and  will  end   on   Friday,  March  30 .    RttT  Coordinators  will  receive  registration  information  this  week  to  distribute  to   members  of  the  PD  Leadership  Team.      

 As  a  reminder,  please  visit  for   helpful  information  to  prepare  this  year’s  participants  for  their  professional  development  experience.    

You  will  find  information  about  the  purpose  of  the  two-­‐day  training  session,  local  lodging  options   around  each  location,  and  more  information  about  the  makeup  of  the  team.  

MORE  INFO:   Yvette  Stewart,  

North  Carolina  Professional  Teaching  Standards  Module  

Have  you  utilized  this  resource  lately?    This  is  a  friendly  reminder  that  you  have  full  access  to  the  North  

Carolina  Teaching  Standards  Module  available  through  NC  Education.    This  is  a  great  resource  for  your   beginning  teachers  or  teachers  not  familiar  with  the  teaching  standards.    Anyone  with  an  NC  Education   account  can  access  the  module.    The  module  is  an  in-­‐depth  look  at  the  North  Carolina  Professional  

Teaching  Standards.  Within  the  module,  standards  One,  Two,  Three  and  Five  will  take  approximately   one  hour  to  90  minutes  to  complete.    Standard  Four  will  take  two  hours  to  complete  because  there  are   eight  elements  within  that  standard.    It  is  estimated  to  take  up  to  seven  hours  to  complete  this  entire   module.    However,  it  is  at  the  discretion  of  each  local  district  and  school  to  determine  how  the  module  is   to  be  completed.  Great  when  used  as  a  PLC  or  with  a  small  collaborative  learning  group.      


MORE  INFO  ::  Yvette  Stewart,  or  Tracey  Greggs,    

ASSISTANCE  WITH  NC  EDUCATION  ::  Beth  Ann  Williams,  or  Help  Desk,    

Professional  Development  Dates  for  the  Remainder  of  March  (UPDATE)  


8  –  K-­‐12  Programs*  PD  for  LEA/Charter  Leadership  Teams,  PTEC  (Room  1,  Special  Events  Center,  

Greensboro  Coliseum)  

8  –  Process  Support  Session  for  K-­‐12  Programs  (Day  1),  NWRESA  

9  –  K-­‐12  Programs*  PD  for  LEA/Charter  Leadership  Teams  (Day  2),  NWRESA  

12  –  K-­‐12  Programs*  PD  for  LEA/Charter  Leadership  Teams,  SWRESA  (UNCC  Campus,  Cone  Building)  

26  –  K-­‐12  Programs*  PD  for  LEA/Charter  Leadership  Teams,  WRESA  

14  –  Fidelity  Support  Session  for  LEA/Charter  Leadership  Teams,  NWRESA  

14  -­‐  K-­‐12  Programs*  PD  for  LEA/Charter  Leadership  Teams  (Day  1),  CCRESA,  Location:    Friday  Center,  

UNC-­‐Chapel  Hill.    Registration:  

15  –  Process  Support  Session  for  K-­‐12  Programs*  (Day  2),  CCRESA  (NCSBA  Building,  Assembly  Room)  

19  –  K-­‐12  Programs*  PD  for  LEA/Charter  Leadership  Teams,  SERESA,  [WL  and  ESL:    Celtic  Court/Mad  

Boar  Restaurant,  HL  and  Arts:    River  Landing  Clubhouse]  

20  –  K-­‐12  Programs*  PD  for  LEA/Charter  Leadership  Teams,  NERESA  (Vernon  James  Research  Center)  

21  –  Teacher  Effectiveness  Vetting/New  Accountability  Model  Meetings,  NWRESA   DATE  CHANGED  to    

May  15    

22  –  Fidelity  Support  Session,  Sandhills  RESA  (Richmond  Community  College,  Hamlet)  

22  –  Common  Core  ELA  and  Math  PD  for  LEA/Charter  Leadership  Teams,  PTEC  (Room  1,  Special  Events  

Center,  Greensboro  Coliseum)  

26  –  K-­‐12  Programs*  PD  for  LEA/Charter  Leadership  Teams,  WRESA  

*K-­‐12  Programs  =  Arts  Education  [Dance,  Music  Theatre  Arts],  ESL,  Healthful  Living  [Physical  

Education,  Health  Education]  and  World  Languages  



Dr.  Atkinson  announces  IIS  Resource  Consortium  

Attached  to  this  Weekly  Update  is  a  letter  from  State  Superintendent  June  Atkinson  announcing  the   creation  of  the  Instructional  Improvement  System  (IIS)  Resource  Consortium.    This  is  a  new  way  that  the  

NCDPI  can  partner  with  LEAs  to  leverage  resources  to  improve  instruction  for  all  North  Carolina   students.  LEAs  and  charters  are  invited  to  volunteer  to  share  resources  in  one  or  more  of  the  following   areas:  instruction  and  learning,  assessment,  professional  development  and  talent  management.  This   initiative  will  help  to  ensure  that  every  school  in  North  Carolina  has  access  to  high-­‐quality  resources.  

Included  in  the  attached  letter  is  a  link  to  a  form  to  indicate  interest  in  participating.  

MORE  INFO:   Sarah  McManus,  

Next  Generation  Assessments:  Why  Online?  

North  Carolina  has  provided  online  assessments  since  2005  when  the  administration  of  the  computer   skills  test  was  completely  online.  The  goal  is  that  by  2014-­‐15,  all  assessments  will  be  administered   online;  this  includes  a  new  generation  of  assessments  for  grades  3-­‐8  and  high  school  subjects,  as  well  as   the  SMARTER  Balanced  Assessments  that  will  be  online  in  2014-­‐15.  Moving  to  an  online  delivery  of   assessments  aligns  with  efforts  already  underway  to  provide  online  instructional  resources,  online   formative  and  benchmark  assessments,  and  online  training  and  professional  development  for  teachers.  

One  other  important  reason  that  North  Carolina  plans  to  transition  to  online  assessments  is  to  take   advantage  of  computer  adaptive  testing.  As  a  governing  member  in  the  SMARTER  Balanced  Assessment  

Consortium,  North  Carolina  plans  to  adopt  the  common  assessments  developed  by  the  consortium,  

which  are  being  designed  in  a  computer  adaptive  format.  A  brief  overview  of  the  latest  information  on  

North  Carolina’s  online  assessments  can  be  found  at    

For  more  information  on  the  SMARTER  Balanced  Assessment  Consortium,  please  visit  their  website  at    

MORE  INFO:  Kayla  Siler,  

Race  to  the  Top  Teacher  and  Principal  Survey  through  March  30  

Last  month,  principals  and  teachers  at  selected  schools  around  the  state  were  emailed  a  link  to   the  annual  Race  to  the  Top  Teacher  and  Principal  Survey.  The  survey  takes  15  to  30  minutes  to   complete,  and  respondents  only  need  their  district-­‐provided  email  address  to  log  in.     The  survey  will  be   open  through  March  30th .    

This  survey  is  extremely  important  as  it  will  provide    information  to  the  larger  RttT  Evaluation  regarding   the  impacts  of  RttT  on  educational  outcomes  as  well  as  teachers’  and  principals’  attitudes  and  behaviors   related  to  the  central  reforms  of  the  RttT  initiatives  –  it  will  not  be  used  to  evaluate  individual  schools  or   educators.    

MORE  INFO:     Race  to  the  Top  Evaluation,  Omnibus  Survey  Team,  SERVE  Center  at  UNC-­‐Greensboro,