September 16, 2021

The Common Core Assessments: Demanding, Online-Only, and Controversial, Too

Common basic government standards for English/language arts and mathematics are now closer than ever to a school near you. That’s because 45 states and the District of Columbia joined them – some before the standards were written. However, the contradiction overshadows them, and now the chances that are associated with it.

The tests, developed by two consortiums worth $360 million from the federal budget, are based on two different online approaches. The option proposed by the Partnership for University And Career Assessment (PARCC) is presented in a ‘solid form’, which means that the elements are taken from a series of questions prepared for each level to set the levels of knowledge of students with students of the same level are asked questions of the same level.

On the other hand, smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) tests use the so-called computer-adaptive format. This means that the questions that students receive are determined by their performance on previous assignments. In other words, items may be above or even below the child’s level, which can lead to a fuzzy estimate.

However, each is designed in its own way to assess critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills, as well as creativity. English/language art presents “real-world problems” rather than reading simplified passages, followed by multiple-choice questions. Indeed, the emphasis will be on the juxtaposition, comparison and synthesis of information from different sources written at a higher level than usual.

At the same time, mathematical assessments will no longer be simple arithmetic tasks. Instead, there will be multi-stage tasks that require an understanding of key mathematical principles. They will also be more complex than usual because they encourage children to “read and interpret graphs, manipulate numbers, and do calculations.” In other words, the elements will be versatile and will require real troubleshooting.

More than a million students have already passed the practical tests, and the overall performance lags behind.

Inspiring butterfly, right? And if that wasn’t enough, two assessments made using a computer or tablet are estimated at 8-10 hours with additional time on demand.

Then, when all these massive online tests cover schools, there is a question of preparation. As consultant Debra Donston-Miller points out: “A lot of schools find that they don’t have the technology they need, they don’t know what technology they need, and they don’t know what kind of technology they need. no knowledge and training to use it effectively. “

Another problem: costs. States are likely to have to pay $29.50 per student for PARCC final tests in math and reading. SBAC versions: $22.50 for final tests and $27.30 for the final, as well as formative and interim tests. And none of these numbers include the cost of tests. Only Oklahoma has discovered it can save $2 million a year if it continues to develop its own tests. Meanwhile, Georgia fears that her PARCC scores will exceed the entire statewide test budget of $25 million!

Meanwhile, a CDW-G survey of 300 IT professionals in schools showed that while about 75% believe that the core curriculum will have a positive impact on their districts…

76% are concerned about costs;
69% are concerned about staff shortages;
62% are concerned that they do not have the technology to support all online testing; And
60% are concerned about the lack of technology in the classroom for learning.
Meanwhile, the respected International Reading Association endorsed the Learning First Alliance’s position: ‘We look forward to making important decisions, such as student performance or graduation, teacher evaluation, school performance determination, or government funding based on grades. It is unreasonable to have common basic standards before standards are fully and properly implemented.

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