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Why is the STAR Test Being Replaced?

Why is the STAR Test Being Replaced?

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - October 27th, 2013

For many years, the state of California has relied upon the STAR exam to assess students’ learning. The STAR exam (standardized testing and reporting) is administered to students in grades two through eleven. At age appropriate intervals, certain subjects are added and removed.

In grades two through eleven, English language arts and math are tested. Students in grades four through seven are also tested on writing. Grades five through eleven include a science portion. Grades nine through eleven see the addition of history-social science (also sometimes called social studies). You can read more about the STAR test at

State Standards Common Core

The State Standards Initiative is a newcomer in the world of standardized testing, but it is rapidly replaced the STAR test and many other tests like it around the country. Created by a collaboration between the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the National Governors Association (NGA) and many academic and educational authorities across the country, the Initiative’s goal is simple – improve education.

In part, the Initiative was created to address the disturbing trend of high school seniors receiving their diplomas despite not having learned the standard curriculum thoroughly. This lack of knowledge and skills places graduating seniors at a disadvantage in the ‘real world’ after high school. They are likely to pass up for employment in favor of applicants with better ‘core’ subject skills. They are also more likely to struggle in college, where professors are not very tolerant of students who don’t possess the knowledge that should come from a traditional high school education.

Testing several core subjects at each grade level, beginning in pre-kindergarten or kindergarten, helps to ensure a more uniform and thorough education at each step in a student’s academic career. It also helps to address the issue of one state graduating a student whose skill set is not considered adequate by other states.

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