New Common Core Testing

ScantronIIEvery year, grades 2-11 take the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) tests. This ultimately measures the students’ academic achievements over the previous years.

But in the next few years, the STAR testing will be replaced by another test, called the Common Core.

“The STAR testing is more based on concepts but the Common Core will be based more off of skill,” Kris Hizal, the AP Government teacher at MC said. “So basically, we’re supposed to teach you lots of skills and then students are given an assessment that has nothing to do with the content we taught but the skills the students have learned are supposed to allow them to be successful.”

The Common Core will be much more document based than the STAR Testing, requiring students to read documents at least three times to understand it.

“It is going to be very different,” he said. “With STAR testing, they gave the students about 48 multiple choice questions that you didn’t get a list of before and you just hoped that the students would remember the content you taught them. With the Common Core, students will be learning new skills so that with any document you give them, they’ll be able to work through it.”

According to Hizal, people have talked about bringing trailers in for the Common Core testing, equipped with numerous computers.

“Basically the students do a written piece that is analyzed by computers, so it’s a big change,” he said.

Hizal believes this is a good idea, but is not sure if this will improve the students’ scores or not.

“You can’t really compare the students’ scores since both tests are so different,” he said. “The real measure will be how successful the kids will be when they get to the next level. But there will also be a transition period for the students when we change tests, so it might be difficult for them at first.”

Hizal is unsure how much new training will be needed from the teachers to teach students a whole new strategy of testing.

While it is still undecided when this new transition of the Common Core will occur, Hizal is hopeful this will make students more successful and achieve more of their academic goals.

Written by Rachel Peters

Rachel Peters has been on staff since her sophomore year of high school. She played Field Hockey her freshmen year and MC Varsity softball for three years. Rachel is a peer buddy for MC's Friendship Club and loves being an academic tutor for the students with special needs at MC.