Common Core, PARCC tests in Colorado reveal uneasiness about testing

Sep 1, 2014 by

From the state’s second-largest school district to rural schools on the Eastern Plains, from Colorado Springs to a high-poverty Denver suburb, anxiety is growing over Colorado’s participation in a multistate effort to test students on a common set of academic standards.

Building for months, the politically charged debate over the new assessments is part of broader discussion that interests from across the spectrum agree is important: Are we testing children too much? And which tests are the right ones?

Colorado’s road to more rigorous academic standards stretches back about seven years. But the scheduled arrival this spring of new online tests aligned with Common Core — national math and language arts standards adopted by roughly 40 states, including Colorado — has brought concerns to the fore.

The dividing lines are many. The standards are too high or too low. The costs of taking part in the tests or sitting them out are too great. Local control over curriculum is being compromised or respected. The standards inspire critical thinking or are hopelessly muddled.

Jill Hawley, an associate commissioner with the Colorado Department of Education, said the brighter spotlight demonstrates change is difficult and the conversation is important.

via Common Core, PARCC tests in Colorado reveal uneasiness about testing – The Denver Post.

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