This toolkit is one of two developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to help state and school districts communicate testing information before, during, and after the assessment window this spring. This toolkit is for states transitioning to a new assessment this year. (For states continuing with a second year of the same assessment, see the communications toolkit listed in the Related Resources below.) This toolkit includes key messages as well as sample FAQs, letters, postcards, PowerPoint presentations, and social media tips to use in communicating about the transition to a new test. CCSSO will add Spanish translations of these materials as soon as they are available.
This toolkit provides communication "talking points" for all stakeholders in the educational system: parents, teachers, district administrators, and state educational agency staff. The templates can be downloaded and adapted to fit state and local contexts, which makes them highly usable for state and local educators. For example, a typical sentence found in many of the documents in the toolkit include something like this:
"This year, the [SMARTER BALANCED/PARCC/PREVIOUS TEST] is being replaced with the [TEST NAME]. While the [SMARTER BALANCED/PARCC/PREVIOUS TEST] had many benefits, [STATE] is transitioning to the [TEST NAME] to better meet the needs of teachers and students."
The templates are short (e.g., 1-2 pages) to enable effective communication with stakeholders.