Exam’s future remains unclear




Thousands of third- through eighth-graders will be tested next school year to make sure they’ve mastered math and language arts lessons, but right now no one knows what will be on that test.

This year could be the last time students take the ISTEP exam, which is what the state uses now to gauge students’ English and math skills. Originally, the plan was for the state to start using a new kind of test, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College Careers, or PARCC exam, which matched planned changes in state standards called Common Core.

Schools have been spending more time teaching students critical reading and thinking skills, such as how to quickly identify an author’s main idea or other crucial facts and details when reading fiction and nonfiction essays and texts, in order to prepare students for Common Core and the new exam.

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