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How S.C. Students Will Be Tested Next Year Unknown

A years-long effort by state officials to help create standardized tests for South Carolina’s public schools may become moot, leaving uncertain how students will be tested next spring.

More than 350 schools across 67 districts were slated to conduct a trial run this spring of the “Smarter Balanced” tests that will determine students’ proficiency in math and reading standards known as Common Core. The practice run for 2015 began March 25 in South Carolina and 21 other states that helped develop the tests using federal grants.

But legislation approved 89-9 by the House on Thursday would force the state to withdraw from the consortium and ban use of the tests. A similar bill has been advanced to the Senate floor, though a senator is blocking debate.

The bills are considered a compromise to efforts to throw out the Common Core standards altogether, four years after their adoption by two state boards.