Alaska is joining a consortium of states to develop tests for new educational standards.
The State Board of Education, last summer, adopted the first ever K-12 standards in English and Math. The standards are considered to the similar to the “common core” devised by other states; Alaska and Texas were the only states not to join the common core.
The Anchorage School District, however, independently adopted the common core standards.
Alaska is now joining the “Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium” which is crafting testes to go along with the standards. The tests could be in place by the spring of 2015 for grades 3 – 8, as well as, 11th grade.
State Education Commissioner Mike Hanley said that the standards and the assessments are a goal, not a curriculum, and individual school districts have the authority to decide how to reach the goal.