Department of Education releases Common Core sample questions

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

BATON ROUGE - The Department of Education today announced the release of sample test questions for educators, students and families to prepare for new assessments Louisiana students will take starting in the 2014-15 school year.

These resources help to illustrate both the content and the format of the assessment, produced by Partnership for the Assessment of College and Career Readiness, of which Louisiana is a member.

The test questions, developed through a partnership between Louisiana and other states, and vetted by Louisiana educators and administrators, demonstrate the call for greater independent thinking and writing by Louisiana students.

Students in grades 3-8 will be taking the new assessments, which cover English language arts and math, in the spring of 2015. Per policy adjustments made by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in December, students in grades 3-4 will take paper and pencil assessments in 2015 but will transition to online assessments in 2016. Students in grades 5-8 will be taking the new assessments online starting in 2015.

"These questions demonstrate two ideas - a return to independent thinking and a commitment to ensure that our education system is as strong as any in America," said State Superintendent John White.

The sample test questions replicate the technology students will use to take the assessment, providing educators and families the opportunity to experience the test in the same way students will in 2015. The assessment includes several new, computer-based features including drag-and-drop, text highlighting, and an equation builder. Additionally, an accompanying online tutorial is designed to demonstrate features that will make testing more accessible to all students.

Louisiana schools will "field test" hundreds of PARCC test questions later this spring. The field test includes nearly all the districts across the state and will allow Louisiana educators and students to conduct a trial run of the assessments a full year before taking the full test.

Students and schools will not be scored on the field tests, which are designed to make sure test items and the technology function correctly, and to work out any glitches that might occur. Feedback collected from all those participating in the field test will be used to make further improvements before the Spring 2015 assessment.