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Only Minor Bugs Revealed In Common Core Field Test

Monday, April 21, 2014 at 6:07 PM

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FLICKR / McCain Library at Erskine College and Seminary

Nearly half of Ohio school districts have just finished up a trial run of tests incorporating Common Core, the new set of English and math standards adopted by most states.

It’s the first field test of the new Common Core English and math assessment, which are more focused on analysis and problem solving than rote memorization.

And state officials say they’re pleased with the outcome.

Department of Education spokesman John Charlton says some districts did report some relatively minor glitches.

“A lot of those fell along the line of spam filters on school computers, students accidentally saving and exiting their tests, some problems related to passwords,” Charlton said.

“The technology coordinators had to step in and be able to make some updates and make some changes to help out,” he said.  “Overall though, there were no, I would say, critical or systematic concerns or problems.”

About 70,000 Ohio students took part in the first part of the exam in March and April.  The second part will be given in May and June.

The field test is to identify problems with the exam content - the way questions and problems are posed - and the technology used to give the exams, said Laura Sklover, CEO of PARCC, the company that designed it. 

Neither school administrators nor students will see the results.  But some are already saying that what the exams require students to do may call for significant adjustments in the way course material is taught.

All Ohio students will begin taking the tests for real in the spring of 2015.

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