Common Core The Key to Test Scores Declining?

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Last year, the New Jersey schools decided to set harder tests that aligned to the Common Core standards. They released their results on Tuesday, and they were not too surprising: fewer students passed the exams.

These tests were administered to students throughout the state in grades three to 11 in English and math.  Less than half of the students scored competent in math. In English, the highest grade was a 52 percent.

The state education commissioner, David C. Hespe explains that there is still much work to be done to ensure the students are prepared for the stress for college and having a career.

The Common Core standards are set by learning goals that are formulated to help students better prepare for college. They were adopted in New Jersey back in 2010, but the 2014-15 school year was the first year students were tested using the Common Core standards. The exam taken is the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, will be used in at least seven states and in the District of Columbia this school year.

Years prior to adopting the Common Core standards, New Jersey students did much better. During the 2013-14 school years, 66 percent of third through eighth graders passed the English exam, and 74 percent passed the math. In high school grades, their results were even better with 85 percent passing math, and 93 passing English.

However, New York saw a similar decline in test scores when it switched to Common Core Standards in 2013. That year, New York had only 31 percent of students throughout the state pass math and English. While the year prior to them adopting Common Core, they had 55 percent passing English and 65 passing math.

All in all, as the years go on and things start to fit together, the test grades will start to increase. The students will no longer feel pressured nor do poorly on the exams.


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