Pockets of resistance to state standardized tests — even in traditionally pro-testing states such as Texas and Florida — cropped up across the country this spring as students sat for the yearly exams.
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Backed by a group of business and political leaders, the Common Core State Standards for English and math were released in June 2010. Since then, more than 45 states have committed to using the guidelines on what students should learn to shape instruction in their classrooms.
Two groups – or “consortia” – of states formed to create new standardized tests that would measure Common Core skills and knowledge. The goal was to design exams that were more in-depth and precise than most states’ existing testing programs. The consortia also hoped to provide students, teachers and schools with scores that could be compared across state lines.
Both the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium plan to launch their tests in 2014-2015. PARCC received $186 million and Smarter Balanced received $175 million from the federal government to create the tests.