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Gradebook

Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

New rigor on tests nationwide

Education Week has a story online this week detailing some of the changes - and challenges - as states introduce tougher standardized testing in anticipation of the Common Core. Florida's recent trouble on the FCAT writing exam is mentioned, as are issues in Kentucky, Michigan and Texas. (Texas isn't adopting Common Core.)

"As states begin to demand more rigor on their high-stakes tests—and the tests evolve to incorporate revised academic standards—many officials are gambling that an initial wave of lower scores will give way to greater student achievement in the future.

Changes to statewide tests and subsequent plummeting scores sparked controversy and emergency action in Florida last month, and similar shock waves have been felt as Kentucky, Michigan, Texas, and Virginia remake their testing regimes.

The increasing expectations are in many cases a preview of challenges expected nationally when new, rigorous assessments based on the Common Core State Standards are administered by nearly all states starting in 2014-15. To date, 46 states have agreed to adopt the common-core standards in English/language arts and 45 in math, and two consortia with various member states are spending $360 million in federal money to develop common assessments for the new standards.

States have long endured criticism that their existing tests, aimed at moving the states toward 2014 proficiency levels in reading and mathematics demanded by the No Child Left Behind Act, lacked the rigor necessary to gauge how well students stack up against the demands of college and workforce readiness."

Read the rest of the story here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 6, 2012 3:39pm]

    

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