What You Should Know About the New Accountability Model and Test Scores
- The new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a good thing; rather than simply memorize a set of facts, students are challenged to think more critically about the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’.
- These standards provide valuable consistency between North Carolina and other states that also adopted Common Core.
- With a new curriculum comes new assessments, and since the rigor was ratcheted up in the curriculum, the standards for proficiency on the assessments were also increased; students took these new tests in 2012-2013.
- A simple analogy to keep in mind: If a great minor league baseball player is batting .400 and gets the call to go up to the majors, it is unlikely that player will immediately be able to play at the same level he did in the minors. The game is faster, the pitches are harder, there are more games in a season, etc. But the benefits to being in the majors far outweigh the learning curve the player has to go through. Eventually the player will ‘catch up to the game’. The same can be said for our students. Any time the bar is raised, it will take our students a year or two to get over it. They will ‘catch up to the game’ soon.
- For the 2012-2013 standards, the bar was raised, and we anticipate that many of our students did not make it across the bar this first year. We anticipate our test scores to decrease, perhaps even dramatically.
- Drops in test scores after a change to the standards are common. We most recently experienced this in 2007 when reading standards were changed. The scores rebounded within a couple years.
- A drop in test scores does not mean that your child is not learning or that your child’s teacher is not teaching.
- The scores from 2012-2013 and 2011-2012 are not an ‘apples-to-apples’ comparison. Because of the new standards, students were not tested on the same content, and the results from the two years cannot be compared. Instead, results from 2012-2013 will establish a baseline going forward.
Below is a list of resources provided by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. We've provided a list of our own frequently asked questions
to help, too. If you still have questions or concerns, use our discussion feature located at the bottom of this page.