Bay Village Schools offer preview of new computer-based state tests
New online state tests for K-12 students are scheduled to begin in the spring of 2015, but anyone who wants a preview of what they will be like can try the Bay Village Schools Superintendent’s Common Core Challenge between now and Dec. 15 by logging onto the webpage at www.bayvillageschools.com/Challenge.
“We started this with our own staff members,” said Superintendent Clint Keener. “The feedback has been awesome. The questions really get folks thinking about how students will respond to these questions.”
Ten sample, prototype questions covering a range of grade levels are offered in the Challenge. Participants can try answering a test question, then they give feedback through a very brief survey question for each test item. The test questions are designed to measure student understanding based on the new Common Core Standards in math and English language arts.
The Common Core Standards have been adopted by 45 U.S. states, including Ohio. Ohio’s New Learning Standards for math and English language arts are based on the Common Core Standards, and Ohio has added its own similarly rigorous standards in many other subject areas.
The Common Core Standards are a states-led initiative proposed by state governors that grew to include business leaders and college educators. Teachers in K-12 education and parents throughout the country also weighed in to create the Standards. The goal is to insure that children, no matter where they happen to attend school or how often they move, are taught a curriculum that holds schools and students to the same rigorous standards.
While Common Core does not require schools teach any particular curriculum or use any specified textbooks, it does outline what students should know, what they should be able to do, and on what they will be tested. Those who want to explore the Common Core Standards in detail can log onto www.corestandards.org.
The prototype questions have been developed under the direction of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), one of two national assessment consortia charge with designing the tests. Char Shryock, Director of Curriculum for the Bay Village City School District, is part of an Education Leadership Cadre for PARCC.
Residents of Bay Village ages 18 and older who participate in all 10 Challenge problems will be eligible for a token prize, a multi-colored highlighter pen sporting the district logo. Details are on the webpage at www.bayvillageschools.com/Challenge. The school district does not keep track of participants’ answers to test questions, but it collects opinions with an extremely brief survey for each question.
Director of Communications for the Bay Village City School District