Sacramento Parents Get First Look At New Testing and Teaching Plans

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Lesson plans and homework will change.

Gabe Ross with the Sacramento City Unified School District says the focus of the new Common Core standards is different from the old STAR teaching and testing methods.

"The new standards -the Common Core standards- will be measured using what's being called a "smarter-balance test" which is online tests, more writing, more reading comprehension," Ross says.  "It's less about memorization, fill-in-the-blank tests and more about real, critical-thinking skills that matter for kids in the real world."

At Sutter Middle School, parent Jack Rovane says he's glad the old standardized testing system has been discontinued.

"I just think it was really really old school and I just, it was just a test," Rovane says.  "You didn't learn anything from it. You didn't get anything from it."

Some parents are leery of the change.  Michelle Masoner is a classroom volunteer and former school board member.  She says this is the fifth time in 25 years the state has changed curriculum.

''The STAR is gone.  It's gone," Masoner says.  "All we can do now is make sure that what they replace it with has some real information.  And if it doesn't, get down to your local school board and state board and scream and yell." 

The District will hold a series of six workshops at seventeen schools between now and April for parents to learn how the English Language Arts and Math curriculum have changed and how the students will be tested. Every student will take a practice test using the new model this year.  Parents will also see how the children's homework will change. 

The Common Core standards and testing will be fully implemented next school year.

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