› What the State Standards Initiative Means for Your Child
What the State Standards Initiative Means for Your Child
posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - December 5th, 2014
A relative newcomer in the world of standardized testing, the State Standards Initiative has been designed to help students become better prepared for life in the real world. The Initiative is the result of a collaboration of many organizations and educational authorities across the country, with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA) being two of its biggest contributors.
The Initiative is a set of agreed-upon criteria by which each student’s progress can be tested and measured. The tests are designed to be given at each grade level beginning with pre-kindergarten, ensuring that any areas for improvement are tackled as soon as they show up.
The State Standard Initiative can be rejected or accepted by each state. Currently, the majority of states in the US have accepted the State Standards Initiative, with some states rejecting only a portion (such as Minnesota’s rejection of the math section). States also have the option of adding subjects they feel are important. Cursive writing is a good example. You can read about the PTA’s stance on the Initiatives at http://www.pta.org/advocacy/content2.cfm?ItemNumber=3008&navItemNumber=557.
In short, the Initiatives are a set of criteria designed to better prepare our students for life in the real world through routine, annual testing of learned knowledge across a broad field of subjects.
Why They’re Necessary
On an individual basis, the State Standards Initiative allows each student to keep up with not only their peers but the entire country regarding education. For your child, this means that their individual abilities will be assessed at each step through their academic career, allowing plenty of time to address any issues. When they graduate, they will be assured of having learned the skills they need for the next step in their lives, whether that step involves higher education or delving directly into the workforce.
These tests have been created to address a very real concern. With an alarming number of graduates lacking basic English skills and knowledge in other subjects, their futures are limited. The Initiative seeks to give every student the best possible chance in life after they receive their diplomas by ensuring that they receive a quality education before graduation day.