How Will the Common Core Affect Standardized Testing?

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Karen asked a great question after reading my post on Sonlight and the Common Core:

Will the revisions of the standardized tests and college entrance exams become so curriculum-specific as to set up independent learners for failure? Even if our standards may exceed theirs, we may not even read the same books or study the same criteria per grade level! How can we prepare our kids best to pass these tests?

I am most assuredly not an expert. But having read a bit about the Common Core State Standards, here's what I understand to be the case:

I know many people--including, for example, teachers and the College Board--are still trying to figure out the impact of CCSS and how to address the issues that are surfacing. So you are not alone! I am not aware of what changes are actually coming to the standardized tests. I haven't read anything on that topic, specifically.

Something to keep in mind: The Common Core State Standards do not dictate curriculum changes. They set a standard--a rather low one, if I'm reading things correctly--and publishers, teachers, and school districts merely need to meet those standards. I think SteveH makes a great point in the comments of this post: "...the standards are so vague that educators use them to justify whatever they want..." So, at the moment, I am not concerned about any specific information that will be tested that homeschoolers will somehow miss.

In other words: Standardized tests should not, under CCSS, suddenly be about making sure you've read the "right" books. Homeschooling will continue to prepare children for academic success. And if you're thinking about college, Judy has a great post where she shares some insights from her experience with high school and beyond as a homeschooler.

Hope that helps alleviate some of your concerns!

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

P.S. I try to keep up on this kind of thing, but I may not read the same blogs/education news sites you do. If you have any input, I would very much appreciate it!

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