New assessment test for public school students

New assessment test for public school students

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)

The Department of Education says the new annual test for public schools called Smarter Balanced assessment will challenge students with complex problems.

"They will be writing. They will be integrating all of the subject areas in order to solve a problem," said Suzanne Mulcahy, Complex Area Superintendent for Kailua and Kalaheo.

She said test results will for the first time allow the DOE to compare Hawaii with other school districts around the country.

"When you use a different test, you cannot just match up the scores. It's apples and oranges," she said.

Many teachers on the mainland are protesting the Smarter Balanced assessments and Common Core standards. Some parents opted their children out of taking the standardized test.

Campbell High School teacher Corey Rosenlee believes the new test further forces teachers to focus on test preparation.

"Instead of giving kids a broad curriculum, they're basically focused on only math and reading. And they forget things such as art, science, social studies," he said. "The students have no accountability on this test. Only schools and teachers do."

The computer test will be given to third through eighth graders and eleventh graders. They will have an accompanying classroom activity and performance assessment.

"It isn't simply just asking a question and filling in a multiple choice answer." Mulcahy said.

Public schools have between March 10 and June 3 to administer the Smarter Balanced assessment test. The testing window goes through June 25 for multi-track schools.

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