The Seattle Times editorial board is urging support for Smarter Balanced testing as a way to get more students ready for college.
This isn’t just about money. The Smarter Balanced testing reflects the new national Common Core standards. For the first time, Washington will soon have data to compare how its students are performing with other participating states. Measuring academic progress ensures that limited funding is targeted to struggling students while they are still in school.
For those students who meet certain state standards on the Smarter Balanced assessment, Washington state colleges and universities have agreed to let them skip remedial coursework and go straight into credit-bearing classes.
Districts should support the state Board of Education’s two goals for this year:
• All schools will meet the 95 percent participation requirement.
• The state will reduce the number of students needing remedial coursework in college by 10 percent.
The need for remedial coursework in college is a national problem that affects students from all backgrounds. According to a recent report the cost to students is as much as $1.5 billion, and as many as 40% of students from well-off families are impacted.
With all the hullabaloo about testing we sometimes loose sight of the big picture. The future isn't bright if our kids are not supported to do well in college or careers. It's up to us to keep the fire burning for school improvement until all of them succeed.
Read the Seattle Times article here.