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Educators brace for dip in test scores with Common Core

By Tatevik Aprikyan
Published On: Nov 07 2013 10:37:20 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 08 2013 04:43:09 PM CST

Common Core Testing Projections

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

A new report from the Idaho State Department of Education predicts how students will perform with the more rigorous Common Core standards. The results show about 30 to 40 percent of students will perform at grade level in reading and math.

"The first year we expect to see a dip, we really do," said Rodd Rapp, achievement specialist at Summit Hills Elementary.

"We're always going to have a test that's stronger than our students can perform at," said Lyndon Oswald, principal at Sandcreek Middle School.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said as Idaho raises its academic standards, schools should expect fewer students to reach grade level proficiency in the first few years.

"They're predicting only 30 percent of the students are going to be able to figure out this first year," said Oswald.

He said the number doesn't worry him.

"No, because if they put out a test that we pass then they're going to have to go back and do a new test, because how do we measure growth if we're always passing?" said Oswald.

At the elementary level, Rapp said he's not alarmed by the projections.

"If I were a parent and I saw the number, I wouldn't worry about it because this is something new and whenever something new is implemented there is a lot of unknown," said Rapp.

Oswald said he's seen his students improve on tests like the ISAT over the years and he's optimistic the same will happen with the common core.

"I think we'll gradually increase across the nation. There's going to be a huge learning curve. This is a brand-new type of testing. Don't underestimate the power of the students. They'll perform and they'll do well," said Oswald.

Common Core is being taught across grades K-12 in public schools. Students will first be tested against these new standards in the spring of 2015.

Idaho voluntarily adopted the common core state standards in math, English and literacy in 2011 as a way to make sure students are ready for college or the workforce when they graduate high school.

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