Over the last few years, there has been much speculation and debate about the Common Core Curriculum and the Smarter Balanced Assessments that many states have adopted. Most states predicted that it would take years for the majority of their students to pass the new tests and had predicted only 30-40% would receive a 3 or 4 on the tests this year. Students who receive a 3 or 4 on the test (on a 4-point scale) are considered on track to graduate high school college- and career-ready.

Preliminary test results are just now starting to be announced and the results are better than expected. Oregon, Idaho and Washington all have shown better results than they predicted based off of the previous year’s field test results. These 3 states all expect the final percentages to drop some once all results are in, but the overall trend is that the students did much better than expected. Oregon’s Department of Education released the preliminary results for approximately 95% of Oregon students who took the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Notably, 69% of 11th graders received a 3 or a 4 on their English assessments when only 41% were expected to. The ODOE stated in their press release

Spring 2014 Field Test Map

that “Based on these preliminary results, it appears that Oregon students are performing better than anticipated.”

Just taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment can be daunting, as estimated times to administer the test were 7-8 hours on average for students without special needs. In addition to being longer, the new assessments do not rely on memorization but ask students to demonstrate an array of research, writing, and problem solving skills. States have been preparing for the last 5 years and it looks like the hard work is showing.

For more detailed information on state test results please click on the links below:

Oregon Preliminary Test Results

Washington Preliminary Test Results

Idaho Press Release – Preliminary Test Results

Idaho Spreadsheet of Test Results

 

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