Many states plan to replace their current high school exit exams with tests being designed for the Common Core State Standards, according to a new study. And it appears that many of them will tie high school graduation decisions to those new assessments, a shift that could represent a big change in the high school completion landscape.
Now that South Carolina has made its choice, the only states still participating in both consortia are Alabama, Colorado, North Dakota and Pennsylvania. Five states don't belong to either group: Texas, Virginia, Nebraska, Minnesota and Alaska.
BY PAM BRANNON Gulf Breeze (FL) News firstname.lastname@example.org
“The students who are high-performing math students and may be entering career fields where they need a lot of math need to take Algebra I in eighth grade. That is the only way they will have time to get Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Trigonometry, and Calculus in before college.”
Testing in America’s K-12 schools is expected to change radically in the 2014-2015 school year under a new set of education standards adopted by most states, but challenges associated with implementing the still-undeveloped tests make the anticipated changes a tenuous prospect.
Some of the changes in the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment will it more difficult to achieve Average Yearly Progress.
"If school officials think making adequate yearly progress was difficult this year, wait until they give state tests this school year."
To make AYP, schools and school districts must meet all AYP targets in all subgroups of at least 40 students.
The changes include:
eliminating a version of the test for certain special education students
replacing the 11th-grade PSSA exams with the new end-of-course Keystone Exams
offering an online version of the PSSA.
In spring 2013, the target will be 91 proficient or advanced in reading and 89 percent proficient or advanced in math. The following spring, it will be 100 percent in each. In spring 2012, it was 81 percent in reading and 78 percent in math.
While 94 percent of school districts in 2011 made AYP, only 60.9 percent did so this year. In 2011, about three-fourths of schools made AYP, but this time it was 50.3 percent.
In math, the percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced fell from 77.1 percent in 2011 to 75.7 percent in 2012.
In reading, the drop was from 73.5 percent to 71.9 percent.
Graduation Rates: Changes made in 2011-12 on how graduation rates are calculated will continue to present challenges for schools and districts this school year, including those with special education students who are being educated to age 21.
Under the system used through 2011, the graduation rate was calculated using the "leaver" rate—how many students left their senior year.
The federal government offered an option of an extended five-year or six-year rate, but Pennsylvania chose the four-year rate.
The harm of local grading in a world of standards: what NAEP reveals (Thoughtlessness part 4)
By Grant Wiggins
"Once again the recently released NAEP results reveal that American student achievement in writing is far worse than local report cards would have us believe. If the new assessments for Common Core are going to be as demanding as NAEP tests are – a likely bet – then we have a disaster in the making: scores are going to be bad and there is going to be hell to pay politically (since NAEP is not district-level reported and typically flies below the layperson radar)."
The ACT will be the first digital, longitudinal assessment system to fully connect student performance from early elementary to high school, helping students know exactly where they are and providing insights on how to build on strengths and address weaknesses, both in and out of the classroom. The system will be linked to ACT's industry-leading College Readiness Standards(TM) and Benchmarks.
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