Examples of how Common Core has changed test questions in Mississippi

Mississippi, which historically ranks among the lowest-scoring states on achievement  tests administered by the federal government, adopted the Common Core State Standards in 2010.  The state slowly phased in the standards until the current school year, and now all Mississippi students are being taught to the new standards. They will take new standardized tests based on the Common Core in spring 2015.

In English Language Arts, students are reading more non-fiction and are being asked to use evidence to back up oral and written arguments.  In math, students are learning multiple ways to solve problems and are being asked to explain how they arrived at their answers.

These examples from the Mississippi Department of Education show typical math and reading problems under the old state standards for grades 3 and 7, and then under the Common Core for the same grades.

Lyndsey Layton has been covering national education since 2011, writing about everything from parent trigger laws to poverty’s impact on education to the shifting politics of school reform.
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