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Standardized Tests by State
posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - June 22nd, 2014
The State Standards Initiative represents a new way of teaching standardized tests in the United States. The goal of the Initiative is to create a nationwide, agreed-upon set of educational standards. These standards can then be used to test children at every grade level, ensuring that each student in the country is receiving the same quality, well-rounded education.
The subjects chosen for standards-based learning are those which have been identified by educational experts as being central to a quality education. They are also the subjects which are often found to be poorly understood by high school graduates. This puts graduates at a large disadvantage after they graduate, as college professors and employers have little tolerance for graduates without these skills.
History, math, science and (where a distinct difference from history is taught) social studies are all significant portions of standards-based learning. English language arts (ELA) is perhaps the strongest focus of standards-based learning. This in response to years of high school seniors graduating with below-average ELA skills. In several studies, seniors expressed extreme difficulty in simple language-based tasks such as composing a grammatically correct resume.
Standards-based learning works toward yearly Common Core testing, which evaluates each student’s grasp of the curriculum taught in that school year. If a difficulty or area for improvement is identified through testing, it can be remedied right away, instead of being allowed to worsen over time.
Helping Students Study
Parents are a key component of helping their child excel at standards-based learning. You can help throughout the year by ensuring that each lesson is not only completed, but fully understood. When testing time draws near, you can utilize a wealth of test preparation resources. You can find online practice questions at http://www.khanacademy.org/commoncore and many other sites. You also have the option to purchase ready-made study materials. Most parents find that combination of ‘homemade’ and purchased study materials yields the best and most consistent results.
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