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South Callaway school board previews new evaluation system

The South Callaway Board of Education saw an early example of some standardized test questions third through 12th graders might be taking by the 2014-15 school year under the recently-developed Common Core State Standards during their regular meeting June 13.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort to develop educational standards common among all states to prepare students for college and the job force. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is a group led by 27 states to develop new assessment programs that aim to accurately monitor students’ progress towards those goals.

Amy Youngblood, a representative with SuccessLink, a group designed to disseminate teaching resources, presented an early look at the assessment system to the school board. These Smarter Balanced tests would be administered on computers at the end of the school year on communication arts and math. No two tests are the same; if a student excels at a question and answers all aspects of it correctly, their next question might be more difficult to gauge their aptitude. Inversely, if a student struggles in an area, their next question might be somewhat easier for the same reasons. Data would then be available to teachers and schools so they could improve teaching and learning for future students in the hopes that students leave high school ready for college or their careers.

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