Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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April 16, 2013

Tougher state tests start today

EDUCATION: State ELA and math tests are more rigorous, education leaders say.

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Adams said kids could be given a technical piece on how an item would work instead of a short story or passage. The text would be more informative, so the test in theory would force a student to read a piece closer.

To help schools and teachers prepare for the new assessments, educators spent some time going over the Common Core prior to the start of the school year.

”A lot of work was done last summer,” Snyder said.

The website EngageNY gives sample questions and passages, as well as more information on the Common Core standards. State Education Commissioner John B. King even has a video on the new standards.

Changes are coming to the Regents and other state exams next year. By 2014-15, the goal is to have all assessments online. All of these changes, along with the Annual Professional Performance Review for teachers and principals, are a result of the federal Race To The Top initiative.

Adams said, as King does in the video, Albany is expecting a dramatic drop in test scores this year. Some are estimating as much as a 33 percent drop.

But, despite the growing pains the changes the Common Core brings, educators believe more rigor could be helpful in the future.

”In the long run, I think it’ll be a positive thing,” Snyder said.

”As long as it gives us information that can help kids, help us in the ways we instruct,” Adams said.

NEW YORK STATE TESTING FOR GRADES THREE THROUGH EIGHT • English Language arts, today through Thursday • Mathematics, April 24 through 26

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.

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