Note: The Illinois School Code state that beginning no later than 2017-18, Illinois students who are not assessed for ‘college and career readiness’ (a.k.a. common core) will not receive a H.S. diploma.
Christian Science Monitor -
States trying to give teeth to the Common Core by tying new tests to graduation requirements are bumping up against resistance.
Forty-three states are currently signed on to the Common Core State Standards, a voluntary system designed to ensure that high school graduates are prepared for college. New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington are among a smaller number starting to link graduation requirements to the new and more challenging Common Core testing systems.
For supporters, the moves are a natural part of the transition from the adoption phase of Common Core to actually implementing the standards in a meaningful way. But an array of critics say the process is moving way too fast.
New Jersey is planning to roll out its tests before it has even decided what the passing scores will be – essentially experimenting with the first students who take it. Meanwhile, Maryland is planning to divide its test results into two tiers, a move that critics say waters down the essential purpose of Common Core.
In all, 24 states currently have “exit exams” that students have to pass to get their high school diploma (though alternatives are available for certain situations). At least 10 states may use new Common Core tests in the coming years for graduation requirements, according to a report by New America, a public policy foundation in Washington.
The challenges being encountered by New Jersey, Maryland, and others point to potential speed bumps along the way.
“Common Core tests are not ready for prime time,” says Robert Schaeffer, public education director for FairTest, the National Center for Fair and Open Testing in Boston.