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State school officials say standardized tests as we know them — the multiple choice kind that require Scantron forms and No. 2 pencils — are not working for teachers or students.
What we need, California Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson said last week, is to move away from memorization-driven tests. He's proposing an assessment exam that draws on analytical skills, problem solving, and writing, which are in line with the Common Core curriculum set to debut in 2015.
We asked you for your thoughts on Torlakson's recommendations, which include a moratorium on all state testing next school year, making kids subject only to federally mandated exams. He said that would give teachers, students and administrators “breathing room” to transition to the new curriculum.
In response to our questions, many of you said students are not receiving a balanced education because teachers devote too much time classroom time teaching to the test.
California State schools superintendent Tom Torlakson wants to revamp statewide standardized testing; instead of memorization driven, multiple-choice bubble exams, the proposed tests would assess critical thinking, problem solving, and essay writing skills.
Torlakson said the new test would be implemented in the 2014-15 school year at the same time as the state adopts national Common Core curriculum and phases out the current STAR testing program.
“We’ve been asking our kids to master new skills and so the assessments must change, too,” said Torlakson.
It will take more than a year to implement, so Torlakson is recommending suspending most tests not required by the federal government starting next year. This would put a moratorium on STAR testing of second graders and end-of-course-exams at the state level.