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How Is the Big Year for Common-Core Tests Shaking Out?

By Andrew Ujifusa — November 16, 2015 1 min read
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Cross-posted from the State EdWatch blog

One of the biggest stories this year in education has been the results from new tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards. But so far, it’s been hard to keep track of all the scores that have been rolling in.

On Monday, we published “Common Core’s Big Test: Tracking 2014-15 Results” on In addition to the scores from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), Smarter Balanced, and other common-core tests from the past school year, the interactive presentation includes scores from previous state tests.

We compiled information that states sent us, as well as information we located online and through interviews. The information represents our best judgment as to which exams fit the purpose of the project.

Just to reiterate an important point here that’s also in the interactive graphic: When states switch to a new test, scores from that test can’t be compared to previous results as a way to measure growth or declines in student achievement.

In some cases, those previous results were also from common-core tests, since some states began giving common-core aligned exams before 2014-15. And in some cases, we had to go back further than the 2013-14 scores to find the most recent relevant test scores before 2014-15.

At the same time, both varieties of tests are (and were) supposed to be state governments’ way of telling the public how students are performing in English/language arts and math.

What does the transition look like? For a relatively simple example, here’s Oregon’s transition from its previous state exams in 2013-14 to Smarter Balanced in 2014-15:

We plan to update the map with each state’s scores as they come in, although some states don’t release all their common-core test scores at once. Let us know if we are missing any sets of scores, and leave your thoughts about the results in the comments section.

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