Five Questions to Ask: Standards & Testing

  1. Is your state participating in the Common Core State Standards Initiative? If so, have schools started to implement the standards into their curricula?What are changes will they have to make to meet the new requirements?
  2. What do teachers in your schools think of the Common Core standards?Some teachers groups have criticized some of the proposals because of concerns that the new requirements might be too restrictive in the classroom.

    Teachers also have voiced concerns over whether they will receive any training/professional development to be effective with the Common Core standards.

  3. Compare the NAEP scores for your state/region with the NCLB-required scores for the schools that you cover. What do these different tests say about student performance in these schools and academic expectations compared with national performance?
  4. Find a selective college or university in your region that does not require the SAT or ACT as part of the application process (FairTest maintains a list.). How long have the tests been optional and what effect has the decision had on the types of students who apply there?
  5. What do the administrators at the schools you cover think of the Common Core State Standards Initiative? Some administrators have expressed concern that the standards could be difficult to implement effectively while so many schools are struggling with restricted budgets.