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State By State Standardized Tests
posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - December 17th, 2014
Many parents are looking for state by state standardized tests so they know what their child will be taking. This is especially true if your child is facing an upcoming Common Core State Standards Initiative test. Since each state has the power to reject, accept or modify (by picking and choosing) the Standards, focusing on the fields accepted by your state is critical to your child’s success.
What the Standards Entail
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is an effort aimed at increasing the knowledge and skills of graduating high school seniors, as well as ensuring proper progression and learning throughout a child’s academic career.
Testing is administered at each grade level, beginning with either pre-K or kindergarten levels. As a child learns and progresses through the grades, the tests are adjusted to reflect relevant subjects and increased levels of learning.
English is a primary focus of the tests. However, after grade five, students are also tested on history, math, science and (if distinctly different than history) social studies. The basis behind state by state standardized tests is to ensure a level playing field and an agreed-upon set of standards for each graduating senior. However, the state-by-state aspect also means that your state may not include a particular set of tests, or, in some cases, add an unrequited set of their own.
Rejections and Additions
A great example of an optional testing field is cursive writing. You can read more about the growing controversy regarding cursive writing at http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-04-04/local/38274984_1_cursive-students-districts.
Cursive, also sometimes called script or simply handwriting, is a rapidly disappearing skill in today’s digital age. While most children can master a keyboard very early in life, the simple act of writing by hand is being called a disappearing art by many educational experts. The real question, of course, is whether or not cursive is valuable enough to be included in testing and teaching curriculums.
If your state by state standardized test does not teach or test cursive, remember that there are a great deal of at-home study materials and workbooks for teaching your child the ‘lost’ art of handwriting.
Any subject can be either rejected or adopted by a state, just as they can be added. For example, the state of Minnesota has decided to reject the math portion of the Standards. Check online or talk with your child’s school administrators to determine precisely which subjects will be included in your child’s upcoming test battery.