NATIONAL CATHOLIC EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION
1005 N. Glebe Rd, NW, Suite 525, Arlington, VA 22201
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 22, 2012
Phone: (571) 257-0010 Fax: (703) 243-0025
Join the Contest to Rename the NCEA ACRE!
NCEA Religious Education Department invites all members to help in updating popular religious education assessment tool for students
Arlington, Va. – NCEA ACRE (Assessment of Catechesis/Religious Education) is getting an update, including a new name. ACRE is undergoing a two-year revision process in which about 30 percent of items will be replaced. The revision began in 2011 and the new faith assessment tool will debut in September 2013. ACRE was last revised in 2001.
On August 1, the NCEA Religious Education Department announced a contest to rename its popular religious education/catechesis assessment tool, asking members to help find a new name for ACRE.
“This seemed like a great time to rename ACRE,” said Kathy Schmitt, director of religious assessments for NCEA. “We know our members are smart, creative people so we thought they would have wonderful ideas for a new name for the revised tool.”
The goal in renaming the tool is so that when seeing the title, people will instantly understand that the assessment is connected to religious education and catechesis in the Catholic Church.
- An acceptable name for the revised NCEA ACRE may be a single word or a multi-word title that is easily reduced to an acronym.
- Suggested names should be related to faith, religious education, catechesis, or Catholic education in some way. Some words that might be used in the new title include faith formation, religious education, assessment, learning, students, knowledge and catechesis, but participants are not limited to these words.
- Submit suggested titles for the revised ACRE via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “ACRE contest” in the subject line of the email, and include your name, position in Catholic education, phone number, school or parish, and your suggested titles for the assessment tool. You may include as many suggestions as you like in a single email. The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 16, 2012.
- The contest winner will receive one free Best Value registration to the 2013 NCEA Convention in Houston and a $50 credit toward purchasing books and resources from NCEA Publications. The Best Value registration includes one full registration for the 2013 Convention plus online access post-convention to all convention keynotes and recorded professional development sessions through the NCEA Live Learning Center, a $205 value. The Best Value registration does not include travel, food, or lodging.
- NCEA executive staff will determine the final name for the revised assessment tool.
- If more than one person suggests the selected title, those persons’ names will be put into a pool and one winner will be picked in a random drawing.
- If the name chosen was not a suggestion submitted in the contest, the names of all those who submitted suggestions will be put into a pool and one winner will be picked in a random drawing.
- NCEA employees and their families are not eligible to win.
- The winner will be announced on the NCEA Website and notified by email or phone by Friday, November 30, 2012.
Update on ACRE Revision – Facts Educators Need to Know
The revision of NCEA ACRE (Assessment of Catechesis/Religious Education) is going smoothly and is on track to debut in September 2013. Below are some important things for teachers, parish catechetical leaders, principals, and diocesan leaders to know about the revision:
- Plan now to put into your 2013-14 budget the cost of new assessment booklets. For NCEA members, booklets will cost $1.20 each, the same price as now. For non-members, the cost of booklets is $1.55 each.
- NCEA understands that budgets are tight and that some schools and parishes that use two or three levels of ACRE may have difficulty in affording new booklets for all levels in one year. Accordingly, the 2013-14 school year (from September 2013 to June 2014) will be a transitional year, where NCEA will sell and score both the old (2001) and revised (2013) assessment tools. Beginning July 1, 2014, only the revised assessment tool will be sold and scored. We urge schools and parishes to plan now to adopt the revised assessment in 2013 for one or two levels.
- Costs will remain the same for all revised assessment materials, including booklets, answer sheets and shipping. Answer sheets are $2.75 for members and $3.50 for non-members. The cost of scoring and generating reports is built into the price of the answer sheets.
- For the cognitive section of the revised assessment, the number of domains, or areas of questioning in core faith concepts, will change from eight domains to six domains. These six domains will match the six tasks of catechesis found in both the General Directory for Catechesis and the National Directory for Catechesis. The six domains are: 1) Knowledge of the Faith; 2) Liturgical Life; 3) Moral Formation; 4) Prayer; 5) Communal Life and 6) Missionary Spirit.
- ACRE levels two and three (for eighth- or ninth-graders and eleventh- or twelfth-graders) will align fully with the USCCB document, Doctrinal Elements of a Curriculum Framework for the Development of Catechetical Materials for Young People of High School Age.The current version already addresses over 80% of the major areas of the Framework.
- The revision will maintain developmentally appropriate expectations of cognitive and affective maturation across the lifespan, so that rigor increases from fifth-grade through twelfth-grade.
- The administration and interpretation manuals will be rewritten to make them more practical and user-friendly. The interpretation manual will include tips for aligning 2001-edition results with 2013-edition results. An updated training video will also be produced in the next year or two.
- A Spanish-language version of the revised assessment tool will be available, as it is now.
- Information for Growth (IFG), NCEA’s assessment tool for adults, is not affected by the ACRE revision process. It was revised in 2006 and costs $6.50/per person for members. It is a great tool to help teachers, catechists, parents and other adults understand their own level of faith knowledge.
- An online version of an ACRE-type student assessment tool is still a few years away. IFG for adults is available online now.
- The ordering, processing and generating of reports will continue to be done by our partner, Computerized Assessments and Learning (CAL), located in Lawrence, Kansas.
- NCEA Religious Education staff will continue to be available for support.
Next Steps and Other Ways You Can Help
This fall, the newly written assessment items will be vetted in a field test. Schools and parishes that administer ACRE in the autumn months of September to December 2012 will have the opportunity to participate in the field test. We would be most pleased if your school or parish volunteered – see contact information below. NCEA may also contact your school or parish to invite your participation in the field test.
Additionally, NCEA is seeking from ACRE users examples of assessment support materials that they are willing to share to help others make the most of the assessment results. For example, do you have documents such as parent letters, instruction sheets for teachers or catechists, reports on how to use results to improve catechesis, charts that track results year by year, or other related materials? If you are willing to share such documents so others can benefit, please contact the staff at the NCEA Religious Education Department by November 30, 2012.
You may reach Kathy Schmitt and other staff members in the NCEA Religious Education Department by email (email@example.com) or phone (800 711-6232).