New computerized tests debut this week, starting in Ohio
STOCKPORT, Ohio (AP) — Sixth-grader Kayla Hunter considers herself pretty tech savvy. She has a computer at home unlike about half her classmates at her elementary school. And it matches up well with the one she'll use this week to take a new test linked to the Common Core standards.
Still, she worries. Her state on Tuesday was the first to administer one of two tests in English language arts and math based on the Common Core standards developed by two separate groups of states. By the end of the school year, about 12 million children in 29 states and the District of Columbia will take them, using computers or electronic tablets.
The exams are expected to be more difficult than the traditional spring standardized state exams they replace. In some states, they'll require hours of additional testing time because students will have to do more than just fill in the bubble. The goal is to test students on critical thinking skills, requiring them to describe their reasoning and solve problems.
The tests have multimedia components, written essays and multi-step calculations needed to solve math problems that go beyond just using rote memory. Students in some states will take adaptive versions in which questions get harder or easier depending on their answers.
But there's been controversy.
In some places, school administrators and state leaders are only grudgingly moving forward.
In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal's effort to stop the PARCC exam was derailed by a state judge who said the governor's actions were harmful to parents, teachers and students. Jindal has said he took the action because he opposes what he views as federal intervention in the adoption of the standards.
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Posted on Fri, February 20, 2015
by Associated Press