Alerts Button
E-Alerts
Podcasts Button
Podcasts
Movies
Movies
Youtube Button
Youtube
Traffic Button
Traffic
ListenLive Button
ListenLive

Monday

Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy
High: 93 °F
Low: 67 °F

Tuesday

Partly Sunny
Partly Sunny
High: 95 °F
Low: 68 °F

Wednesday

Hot
Hot
High: 97 °F
Low: 68 °F

Hart District, Castaic Union Students Begin Common Core Pilot Tests

Santa Clarita Valley students are getting a taste of what California’s new Common Core school curriculum will be like via standardized testing, which began recently at two school districts.


Don't miss a thing. Get breaking Santa Clarita news alerts delivered right to your inbox.


“We are in the process right now,” said Gail Pinsker, spokeswoman for the William S. Hart Union High School District. “Our technology infrastructure is handling the testing really well, which is something that we’ve been working very hard on.”

The district spent the last three years preparing for the technological upgrades necessary, such as improving Internet bandwidth and its WiFi, she said.

One of the biggest changes students are likely to notice right off the bat with the new tests is the elimination of the need for a No. 2 pencil and Scantron testing forms.

The tests are all computer-based, and districts are using a variety of formats for the students, Pinsker said, including desktop computers, laptops and digital tablets. The districtwide ratio of students to digital devices is 2-to-1 at the junior high level and about 3-to-1 at the high school level, officials said.

The Hart district oversees more than 22,000 students at the junior high and high school level.

The testing results are not for public dissemination, according to state officials. They won’t be shared with parents or students, but they are being used for data-gathering purposes, said Pam Slater of the communications division in the state superintendent’s office.

To that end, Hart district officials are using the different testing platforms, i.e. computers, tablets, etc., to gauge student feedback. Per state requirements, the tests are only being offered this year to seventh-, eighth- and 11th-graders in the Hart district.

The Castaic Union School District began its testing window during the same period as the Hart district, which is from March 25 to April 25. Castaic Union is an elementary and middle school district which includes a middle school, third- to eighth-grade students will be tested.

Officials with Castaic Union, which has more than 2,200 students, did not immediately return calls seeking comment for this story.

There are four windows being offered for school districts across the state to take advantage of the Smarter Balanced Field Tests. The first one started March 25. The next one will go from April 7 to May 16, which is when Newhall, Saugus Union and Sulphur Springs will test students. The Acton Agua Dulce Union School District is set to test in April, also.

Click here for more information on Common Core Standards Initiative, which was adopted by California in August 2010. Since its formulation, 45 states have adopted the curriculum.

State officials say they’ve been encouraged by the results, so far. More than 203,000 students have started the tests, and the state’s Technical Assistance Center has fielded about 524 calls per day from various districts.


Do you have a news tip? Call us at (661) 298-1220, or drop us a line at community@hometownstation.com.




Hart District, Castaic Union Students Begin Common Core Pilot Tests


Article: Hart District, Castaic Union Students Begin Common Core Pilot Tests
Source: Santa Clarita News
Author: Perry Smith