Test scores worse before better with Common Core
by Courtney Stevens
Nov 11, 2013 | 2619 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Test scores getting worse before they get better were a topic of discussion when the Board of Trustees of Cleveland School District met on Tuesday.

"Anytime there's a change in the curriculum you'll see a dip but then once everybody settles in and understands what's going on people will rise to the challenge," said Dr. Lisa Bramuchi, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment.

According to the Mississippi Department of Education, Common Core State Standards is an initiative of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to create a significant and historic opportunity for states to collectively develop and adopt a core set of academic standards in Math and English/Language Arts.

These standards are grounded in college and career readiness.

The state of Mississippi adopted the Common Core State Standards Initiative in 2010 and Cleveland School District began working with Common Core in 2011.

After a lengthy process, students are now being assessed and at the board meeting the board reviewed the results of the district wide second grade assessment.

Through this assessment, the board will be able to see what subjects students are weak in and what subjects they are strong in.

Through this information, the board will know what areas need more focus to ensure a better education for all students in the district.

"By 2015 we should see a new assessment," said Bramuchi.

Right now each state has their own assessment so state education cannot be compared.

However, with Common Core being adopted throughout the country and the Common Core assessment being the same in each state, states will be able to see how they compare to one another through the test scores of students.

Through these test scores and comparisons, states will know how they need to adjust their education standards and better prepare students.

"Statewide, when there is a change in the assessment, there is usually a drop in performance rating until the students have an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the new format, the scores then begin to rise," said Jackie Thigpen, Cleveland School District Superintendent.

The school board will continue to review the assessments in order to focus on areas students are weak in, as well as praise the areas students perform well in.

"We’ve been doing this for all of last year and the spring of the year before. When we do this, it gives us the whole nine weeks to work on areas based on the data that says 'hey your kids are week in this, fix it,'" said Bramuchi.

The Cleveland School District provides parent resources for the Common Core Standards on their website so parents can better understand what their children are learning as well as how their scores are assessed.

For more information on the Common Core State Standards visit www.cleveland.k12.ms.us or www.mde.k12.ms.us.