MDSE Asks For Extension On Implementing Common Core Testing - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

MDSE Asks For Extension On Implementing Common Core Testing

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MARYLAND - Education officials are hoping for an extension for implementing common core testing.

This year, about 55,000 students across Maryland are piloting new assessments using the online Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). The test is reportedly part of the process for implementing the new Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards, developed from the Common Core Standards, which began in 2010. For this school year only, the Maryland State Department of Education reportedly obtained flexibility to hold schools harmless for one year from federal accountability sanctions while field testing the new assessments.

While the MSDE says Maryland has come a long way with the new initiatives, they feel that the 2014-2015 school year should also have this flexibility, and data from tests in the 2015 to 2016 school year should be used for teacher evaluations. Officials say by giving additional time, rather than holding teachers accountable next year, it will help ensure that the evaluations are fair and valid measures for both teachers and principals, along with students.

"With the extension, it drives you into the evaluation," says Dr. John Frederickson, superintendent of Wicomico County Public Schools. "If you are using the tests right away to evaluate, you could wind up in court or before the state Board of Education. They were so busy on the curriculum side and the funding side they didn't get this wired down properly."

Dr. Frederickson says teachers and superintendents across Maryland are in favor of the extension, and he hopes the US Department of Education works with the MSDE's proposed plan.

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