Changes in Common Core and curriculum affect scores

Last updated: October 21. 2013 8:32AM - 2476 Views
Wil Petty Staff Writer jpetty@civitasmedia.com

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Statewide scores for 2012-13 End-of-Grade Testing are expected to have a decline compared to previous years, and Ashe County is no different.

“With the new Common Core, the rigor has increased tremendously and, as a result, the rigor of the new testing has increased,” said Dr. Ernest “Todd” Holden, superintendent of Ashe County Schools. “As a result of those two factors, you will see a decline in student proficiency.”

The scores are set to be released within the first week of November.

This week, data from the Education Value Added Assessment System (EVAAS) is supposed to be released, which measures both student and teacher growth. Ashe County is expected to have improved scores on that front.

“What we anticipate seeing is an increase in student growth, but proficiency due to new tests and change in curriculum will be lower,” Holden said.

The new standards Common Core requires meant covering more advanced topics in reading, writing and mathematics. It is normal for school systems to experience lower scores with new testing involved, known as “re-norm” years.

Holden said in the 2005-06 school year, which was a re-norm year for testing from grades 3 to 8, scores dropped 23.3 points in proficiency. During the 2007-08 year, which was a re-norm year for reading tests, scores dropped 25.5 points.

“When we change the standards in testing, we have to adjust how we are teaching our students,” he said.

There is no need for parents to be concerned about the new scores. While the scores will look unusual, the EVAAS scores are expecting to show continued growth in the teachers and students.

“(Parents) just need to know that with the expectations and tests changing, it usually takes (a school system) about three years to recovering following a drastic change,” Holden said.

Holden said that next week, administrators across the district will start evaluating the data they receive, in order to decide what will be the best course of action to take with teacher placement and teaching strategies..

“Even though the scores show that we’re down, we are never out,” Holden said. “We are going to recover what we lost. We hope we can do it in the next two years instead of three to five.”

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