Blake Neff --- The Daily Caller
One of the two major groups designing standardized tests aligned with Common Core has released how students are expected to score on its inaugural exam next spring, and its prediction isn’t pretty.
According to anticipated score distributions announced by the Smarter Balanced testing consortium, almost two-thirds of students taking the test next year will fall below proficiency in mathematics, while nearly six in 10 will fail to measure up in English. Defenders of the test, however, emphasize that low scores are nothing to be afraid of, and represent an increase in expectations rather than a decrease in ability.
Smarter Balanced is one of two testing consortia seeking to create Common Core-aligned standardized tests that will be shared among multiple states. 2014 will mark the first year Smarter Balanced standardized tests are fully implemented in 17 different states containing over 15 million schoolchildren.
Smarter Balanced tests will group students into four different tiers, fittingly titled Level 1 (the worst) through Level 4 (the best), with Level 3 indicating proficiency. The group’s planned “cut scores” roughly reflect how difficult Smarter Balanced expects the tests to be, and how well students are expected to perform compared with Common Core-based expectations. The cut scores have been estimated based on the results of testing trial runs given to over 4 million students in 2014 as part of the transition process.