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South Dakota Schools to Try New Assessment Tests

Argus Leader (SD) (03/09/14) Wischmeyer, Beth

The U.S. Department of Education granted South Dakota a waiver earlier this year that will allow the state's schools to offer Smarted Balanced assessment tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards this spring to students in grades 3-8 and 11, instead of the Dakota STEP test. State Education Secretary Melody Schopp says this year's results will not be published for individual schools, and schools will not be held accountable for their scores. "We want to test the test," she says, adding that next year's scores will determine the baseline score. The state will have enough data in 2016 to gauge whether schools are improving. Schopp notes that a federal wavier that would allow the state to delay using student growth on state assessments as a factor in personnel decisions is pending, with a statewide pilot of the new teacher evaluation system to be launched in 2015.
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