BEND, OR -- Students across Central Oregon have started taking their new standardized tests this spring. Smarter Balance aims to be a rigorous testing method to better prepare our kids for the future.
Cascade Middle School Eighth Grade teacher Michelle Hanford has been teaching in the district for twenty years. She says the students have been handling the change in testing well. "In the end I had a lot of kids say it was really tough, but I was able to express my ideas as opposed to multiple choice. And I thought that was really cool."
Some of the testing is essay form, so people not machines will be grading them, which will take longer. Smarter Balance efforts to test students critical thinking skills more than previous tests. About 20 states including Oregon are using the smarter balance tests that are closely aligned to the common core state standards.