Common Core State Standards
The Smarter Balanced tests are to be given to students in grades three through 11 starting this month and running into May.
Tests at the classroom, district and state level in Columbia Public Schools will have to accommodate new academic standards and the skills-based, critical-thinking focus of Common Core.
Rather than having curriculum that forces teachers to race through facts and loads of content, the Common Core State Standards emphasize adjusting curriculum to help students learn more practical and critical-thinking skills that can be applied across disciplines.
In the past year, Columbia Public Schools has focused on revising its curriculum to adhere more closely to the Common Core State Standards, which stress practical skills and in-depth learning.