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CAE and Otus Team Up To Provide Valuable Assessment Tool for K-12 Educators

Author: Mike Peterson | Press |

CCRA+ measures student proficiency in critical thinking, problem solving, and written communication skills

Council for Aid to Education, Inc. (CAE), a leader in designing innovative performance tasks for measurement and instruction of higher order skills and for subject area assessments, today announced a new partnership with Otus, an integrated platform that gathers student data from its own or any third-party assessment, and enables educators to monitor and plan for academic growth, social-emotional development, and personalized learning goals.

Under this partnership, educators using both Otus and CAE’s College and Career Readiness Assessment (CCRA+) will have a holistic picture of student performance by combining CCRA+ data with all other assessment data that districts are collecting – all in one platform, which will ultimately help districts make instructional decisions to improve student outcomes.

CCRA+ is a performance-based assessment that measures student proficiency in critical thinking, problem solving, and written communication – skills that are predictive of positive academic and career success. These higher order skills are highlighted in many states’ and districts’ Portrait of a Graduate initiatives, yet most do not have an objective measure of student progress.

With the integration, CCRA+ results will go directly into the Otus platform, allowing educators to create custom reports to analyze performance trends over time by student groups such as race/ethnicity, special education status, English language learners, and more. Educators can also identify students who are performing below expectations and add them to a personalized learning plan that supports their growth towards future readiness.

The partnership is a significant step forward for both CAE and Otus. For CAE, it will help to expand the reach of CCRA+ to a wider audience of educators and students across the country. The collaboration will provide Otus educators with a valuable new tool to measure their students’ future readiness and improve outcomes.

“Partnering with Otus, a true industry leader, will help us make a positive impact on the lives of more students across the country,” said Bob Yayac, president and chief executive officer of CAE. “CCRA+ is a valuable tool that can help educators identify students’ strengths and opportunities for improvement in critical thinking, problem solving, and written communication. With this relationship, educators will have a more comprehensive view of their students’ needs and the support required to succeed.”

A performance-based assessment, CCRA+ situates students in real-world scenarios that require the application of critical thinking, problem-solving, and written communication skills. Using supplied reference materials, students must define the problem, organize information, address issues, consider and evaluate solutions, and recommend and defend a course of action. Student scores reflect a range of plausible and effective response strategies — a process that, by design, mimics real-world, decision environments.

CCRA+ can be used for formative, interim, and summative purposes, including establishing a baseline for students, evaluating how their essential skills have progressed, and showcasing their skills upon graduation. The assessment’s results include norm and criterion reference data as well as detailed subscores to provide a more complete picture of students’ progress towards Portrait of a Graduate skills mastery. CCRA+ results can be aggregated and analyzed at all levels – student, class, school, district, and state – to identify opportunities for improvement and to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions and curriculum changes.

“We are excited to join forces with CAE to introduce CCRA+ to the Otus community,” said Chris Hull, president and co-founder of Otus. “CCRA+ is a highly-effective assessment tool that empowers educators to better understand how students’ skills can be applied in real-world scenarios. This partnership underscores our commitment to preparing every student for their future, equipping them with the necessary tools to navigate their path to success.”

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