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Common Core State Standards Initiative Testing
posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - January 9th, 2015
The testing mandated by the Common Core State Standards Initiative is a standardized test battery. Here, we’ll review the major portions of the test as well as some points of interest about the Initiative itself.
Who is Tested?
The test created by the Common Core State Standards Initiative is known as the ELA (English Language Arts) Common Core as well as by other variations. The test is given to each student at each grade level, beginning in pre-kindergarten or kindergarten and continuing through grade twelve.
Every student is required to take the tests, as is the norm with most standardized tests today. Contact your child’s school if you have any questions regarding how remedial or advanced placement classes will affect testing levels.
What’s the Point?
The Common Core State Standards Initiative was created to address a very serious issue. Far too many high school seniors are receiving their diplomas without some very basic skills. These skills are vital for success in college and the workforce, and so these students are at a disadvantage the moment they receive their diplomas. The Initiative aims to end this disturbing trend by ensuring that each student receives the same education, an education which will fully prepare them for life after graduation.
What is Tested?
In addition to a large scope of English-language skills, other subjects tested (after grade five) include history, social studies, science and math. For children in grades five and below, these subjects are incorporated into the basic ELA section. You can read more about testing specifics at http://www.commoncorearkansas.org/. While the site gives specifics for Arkansas only, most US states have already accepted the entire test battery. A quick search will let you know if your state has rejected any portions of the battery or made any additions. While each state has the power to reject or accept the test as well as add subjects, very few have done so.
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It looks like you’ve confused quite a few facts about testing and the new standards.
1. The Common Core Standards (CCS) and testing are separate entities. The two were created by different consortia.
2. Neither the CCS or the testing are mandated unless the states adopts them.
3. Once a state adopts the CCS, they have choice in how to test them. Most have chosen PARCC or Smarter Balanced, but others are being created now.
4. The CCS are career-ready standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts/literacy and mathematics.
5. They do not apply to Pre-K as you have stated above.
6. Testing is not done in every grade K-12.
7. There are no CCS for any content areas other than English Language Arts and Math.