Reconsidering which grades students take state standardized tests

The State Board of Education’s legislative package includes a recommendation that high school students take the state’s standardized tests their junior year instead of in their sophomore year as is now required.

This change would align the state’s testing schedule with other states that are also implementing the Common Core State Standards.

The recommendation — which now heads to the General Assembly for consideration — would phase in the change, and would not require districts to tests students in both grades.

“I don’t think there is any interest by this board to have tests in 10th and 11th grade,” Board Chairman Allan B. Taylor said of draft language of the proposal before the board.

Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor noted that was not the intention of the proposed changes, but rather an attempt to codify state law with Common Core that pushes back the tests by one year.

The board unanimously approved an amended version that spells out which grades districts will be required to test over the next several years.