A new standardized testing platform, which is more suitable for use with Common Core curriculum, is on its way to many U.S. states.
Smarter Balanced is a multi-state consortium that has prepared assessments for the newly adopted Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These standardized tests, which will be implemented next year, boast the ability to “accurately measure student progress toward college and career readiness.”
The Smarter Balanced consortium is one of two state-led consortia and is funded by a 175 million dollar grant provided by the U.S. Department of Education and contributions from charitable foundations. Students in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming are supposed to be taking these standardized tests in place of the older standardized tests in the coming year.
HighBeam Research said these new assessments are able to “evaluate the progress of elementary, middle and high school students toward meeting the new Common Core State Standards.” Huffington Post reported that three million students are expected to participate in these new tests.
According to the Washington Post, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funneled 200 million dollars and political support towards the curriculum the tests are based upon.
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 8, 2014
Joe Wilhoft, executive director of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, wrote about the unveiling of the new standardized testing:
“The Common Core challenges students and teachers to exceed our old expectations, and assessments that are truly aligned to those standards can be no different. Along with many others in the education community, we are building support structures to assist teachers as they embark upon the hard work of helping students master challenges, such as drawing inferences and pulling key information from complex passages or solving math problems through careful analysis rather than rote memorization. We expect test results from our first operational test in 2015 to look very different from what many states have come to expect. That will be a bitter pill for some to swallow, but it is a key step toward providing all students with the education they deserve and need to thrive in our competitive global economy.”
Wilhoft accurately predicted the public’s resistance. Common Core and the standardized tests issued by the two consortia have many critics, according to the Detroit Free Press. According to MSNBC, several other states may follow the states that have already dropped Common Core and the standardized tests based upon it.
Inquisitr reported earlier that in New York, students even protested Common Core by refusing to take their version of the standardized exams. Critics call both Common Core and Smarter Balanced assessments huge gambles.
Parents are left confused and frustrated:
My kids used to love math. Now it makes them cry. Thanks standardized testing and common core! — Louis C.K. (@louisck) April 28, 2014
— Heritage Foundation (@Heritage) June 8, 2014
Smarter Balanced has online practice tests available. Could you pass a six grade Math or Language Arts standardized test? If not, does that say something about the educational quality of the past or are the tests themselves confusing and improperly designed?
Try a practice test and be sure to let Inquisitr know what you think of the new Common Core aligned standardized tests in the comments area below.