Common Core Leaves Much to the Imagination as Students Return to School

If students have yet to return to school, they will be enjoying their last taste of summer this Labor Day. Schools resume on Tuesday, and they have sent out their list of requirements and needs for each student. One thing most have not sent out are the Common Core test results.

The tests were developed by two different groups; the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (also known as PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. These Core tests cover math and reading and are aligned with the new Common Core standards that are now in many schools. The Daily Record did a question and answer concerning the Core, and it was established that it is not a curriculum, but rather a process of testing students based on their abilities and answers. These tests are trying to replace the typical standardized tests that students are required to take every year. According to ABC News, near 12 million students took the tests in 29 states.

The Core tests were given for the first time this past spring, and although it was known and expected to be delayed and have kinks, it’s no less frustrating for students and parents alike. Of the 29 states that administered the tests, only seven of them have released results for the Smarter Balanced Assessment: Connecticut, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Missouri, West Virginia, and Vermont. Even worse, of the five million that were obliged to take the PARCC exams, none have been given a result. ABC News reported that “PAARC is still setting benchmarks for each performance level,” and students can, or maybe should, expect their results in the fall. After the college semesters have started.

Of course, the goal will be to release the results much closer to the end of the students’ school year but it may be a long process to getting the formula right to accomplish that. Part of the problem with the delay was the transfer from paper and pen to digital. According to The Daily Record, “Many states had technical issues with the electronic form that left them unable to complete the testing. Others saw an unprecedented spread of refusals. That means a new school year without complete testing data in many areas.”

Eventually, the Common Core tests will be used to evaluate the teachers and the school, so it isn’t imperative that students receive their results before their new school year starts. Most states, in anticipation of this delay, have postponed the evaluation procedures in order to not affect school funding prior to the new year.

[Image via CBS News]