The Florida Department of Education announced the nation’s first state assessment to incorporate common core standards.
Working with the test developer McCann Associates, Florida will launch the test at 28 colleges in an effort to both place students and assess readiness for college-level work. Florida’s Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (PERT) will be given to high school and entering postsecondary students.
PERT uses branching algorithms to assess students, along with a second phase that includes diagnostic tests in math, reading and writing. The Florida initiative also aims to provide higher graduation rates by allowing administrators to identify students’ strengths.
Common core standards may be the hottest issue in education today. Proponents claim the standards will ensure that all schools have an intellectually rigorous curriculum. Opponents says a shared curriculum imposed on schools would ignore the diversity of experiences, skills and goals students bring to their classrooms. As Dennis Littky, a Providence, R.I. school reformer who has won a 2011 NEBHE Excellence Award, quips: “Who wants a standardized kid, anyway?”