Common Core testing under way at Tahoe-Truckee schools | SierraSun.com

Common Core testing under way at Tahoe-Truckee schools

Staff report

TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — Tahoe Truckee Unified School District students this spring are participating in a new annual state test as Common Core gains a foothold throughout California.

The new statewide test, the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress system, replaces the old “STAR” test (Standardized Testing and Reporting).

According to TTUSD, the new test is different in many ways, including that it doesn’t have time limits. Some highlights include:

Computer-based: Some questions are interactive, and a greater variety of supporting tools can be provided to eligible students, such as magnification of text, and text-to-speech read-aloud of questions.

Computer-adaptive: Students receive test questions that provide unique information about what they know and can do. A correct answer is followed by a more difficult question, and an incorrect answer is followed by an easier question. “This provides a more precise estimate of student understanding,” officials said.

Realistic context for tasks: For example, students are asked to select a word of the same meaning to replace a word in a paragraph, rather than to choose a synonym for a word standing alone. In addition, students need to provide open-ended answers for some questions, rather than selecting from multiple options, and will be asked to write short essays that will need to be scored by hand.

This summer, parents and educators will receive the students’ results, according to TTUSD.

“Given that it is a new test, the results will be considered a baseline for marking future growth,” officials said. “The scores on this test will not be comparable to previous test scores as the old test assessed a different set of skills.”

Visit ttusd.org to learn more about the district.