North Carolina Standardized Testing in Question Due to Common Core Backlash

nc-state-flagThe Raleigh News & Observer published a story yesterday entitled “Common Core backlash casts shadow on future testing in NC.”  Sounds dramatic doesn’t it?

Basically the North Carolina Legislature threw a monkey wrench in the North Carolina State Board of Education’s plans by not funding the Smarter Balanced Assessments.  Those pesky legislators!

An excerpt:

North Carolina has been part of a group of states guiding the creation of a national test called SMARTER Balanced, which is tied to Common Core standards for reading and math. The thought was that students statewide would begin taking the national exams next year.

The Common Core State Standards establish a clear and consistent map for what students should learn from kindergarten through high school to prepare them better for college and careers. North Carolina is one of 45 states to adopt the standards.

But a Common Core backlash, driven by critics who question the state’s decision to hand over control of its education standards to national groups, has complicated the decision on whether to adopt the national tests.

The legislature in its budget prohibited the Board of Education from spending any money on new tests linked to the standards, including SMARTER Balanced, unless the legislature passes a law allowing it.

A legislative committee examining Common Core wants to consider the fiscal and legal consequences of the state dropping out of the group working on the test.

The state board was scheduled to vote next week on what tests to use next year, but Chairman Bill Cobey said Thursday that the board isn’t ready to do so. Instead, the board is going to get more information on options and what other states are doing.

“It’s a very complicated thing because it has budgetary implications,” he said. Ultimately, the legislature controls what that board will do, Cobey said.

Read the rest.

First I have to point out the obvious bias in the article (or laziness if the reporter is just being fed talking points) when it says, “The Common Core State Standards establish and clear and consistent map…”  Clear?  Please, a lack of clarity is one of our primary problems with the content of the Common Core State Standards.

Second, this is a model for states to follow who are still a part of PARCC or Smarter Balanced.  Hard to implement what isn’t funded.

4 thoughts on “North Carolina Standardized Testing in Question Due to Common Core Backlash

  1. What most people do not understand is that an “assessment test” is a test to see how students are meeting a standard. They are different from standardized tests such as the iowa Test of basic skills, the California Achievement Test. or the Standford Achievement Test. These “achievement”tests are based on a fixed standard. Assessment Tests are designed to move the goal posts every year.. Achievement Tests actually show the knowledge acquired… and are based on norm referenceds. It shows the child’s weaknesses and where remediation is needed. Achievement test measure “fuzzy goals” and standards devised by educates in Washington DC. I never permitted my kids to take the State Assessments as they told you nothing about the child’s achievement level.

  2. What people do not know is that Assessment
    Tests only measure how well a student is meeting a state/federal devised goal. For example the 4th grade PA assessment standard for multiplication reads “all students ail demonstrate that multiplication is a function of addition and arrays.”
    How does one measure that? You can’t .. but you can move the goal posts every year. A real standard for 4th grade students is “all students will know their multiplication tables and be able to apply them. . ED Hirsh in his books on education states that all students in 4th grade should have their multiplication tables thoroughly memorized and be dividing by two numbers by the end of 4th grade. That is a measurable norm-referenced standard! Assessments are nothing more than the government’s attempt at measuring how a child thinks and not what they know. Refuse to allow your kids to take them. This is also true for the NAEP.. the national assessment for educational progress It is loaded with politically correct questions and thinking and then takes the pulse of the child and the school to see if they are on board with “progressivist” thinking.

  3. Wow, amazing that the reporter is biased or lazy because the article doesn’t agree with your viewpoint.

    1. When they just spout off a talking point, yes that is laziness. That is exactly how the NGA/CCSSO describes the Common Core verbatim.

      Writing “the standard provide a clear and consistent map” is stating an opinion. That is not journalism. I’m not asking for the writer to use my talking points. They should have said. They are described by ____ as being ______. That’s journalism. Unless they actually read the standards (which I doubt this person did) how can they come to that conclusion? And even if they did this is supposed to be a news story, not an opinion article.

      Both sides should be presented – fair and balanced. It’s amazing to me so many reporters who report on this just parrot that definition off without any critical thought about how they are conveying one opinion of the standards. They could have simply written that the Common Core State Standards are a set of benchmarks developed by the National Governors Association, Council of Chief State School Officers and Achieve, INC in math and English language arts. That is a fact. Saying they are “clear and consistent” is not a fact it is an opinion.

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