Do you dread the annual STAR testing we’ve all been taking for years? Well, in light of recent developments, you may not have to take it ever again. This year we are taking the common core. It’s an exam that is taken on the computer, and should be more difficult because it minimizes multiple choice questions. Conversely, it requires more writing, a skill that testmakers apparently find more important than bubbling in with a number 2 pencil.
The common core is set up more like a college entrance exam. Teachers from around the country have said that it follows block-step teaching, where all teachers in a school are teaching the same information in that week, so that each class has the same information at the same pace. Some feel that block-step teaching takes away the teacher’s ability to move through coursework at a speed that is optimal for students, but the idea behind it is that all classes will have cohesion. In addition, instead of being taught about different writing styles, students will learn about argumentative essays. “The Common Core loves argumentative essays,” said Matt Posner, writer of “Argumentative Essays and the Common Core”.
The makers of the SAT and ACT helped formed the common core and set the exams to the standards. Hopefully, their influence will make SLV students more prepared for these important standardized tests. Sometimes it feels like the testing cycle is never ending, but if you prefer writing to answer-bubbling, the common core test might be better for you.