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ELA Common Core Testing
posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - June 30th, 2013
Due to the relatively recent introduction of ELA Common Core testing, many parents are finding it difficult to understand and, perhaps more importantly, difficult to effectively prepare their children. Here we’ll review precisely what the ELA Common Core test battery consists of, in addition to how and why it was developed.
What it Is
The ELA Common Core test battery is a set of standardized tests. The tests are given to students in every grade level, including pre-kindergarten. Up to grade five, only English language based questions are included; other subjects are integrated into this field. Beginning in grade six, students are separately tested on a variety of other subjects. These include history (and social studies if a school recognizes and teaches a significant difference between the two), math and science.
Testing is adopted on a state by state basis. This means that each state has had a chance to reject or accept the testing. Currently the majority of US states are using the tests, with more planning implementation in upcoming school years. Only three states have completely rejected the standards. You can view a map of states acceptance and read more on the tests at http://www.ccsso.org/Resources/Programs/The_Common_Core_State_Standards_Initiative.html.
Why it was Created
ELA Common Core testing is the result of collaboration between many different organizations and authorities. The Council of Chief State Schools Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA) are two of the main backers of the initiative, with educational authorities, educators and others responsible for promoting the initiative in individual states.
The goal of ELA Common Core testing is relatively simple, but addresses a very serious concern. For many years, it has been recognized that too many high school students are graduating without the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in the worlds of today’s higher education and the workforce. Simple things such as basic writing skills have somehow slipped through the cracks.
The ELA tests are designed to ensure that each student learns according to a country-wide set of agreed-upon standards. These standards are broken down into age- and grade-appropriate tests to ensure that every student progresses at an acceptable rate and that, upon graduation, they will be fully prepared for the next step in their lives, whether that involves college or entering the workforce.