What is the test? Idaho students will take a field test on Idaho Core Standards, a set of goals based on Common Core State Standards adopted in 45 states and the District of Columbia, and put into Idaho classrooms this school year.
Test lite: More than 43,000 students in Meridian, Boise and Nampa districts will take the exam when they return from next week's spring break. But the districts are allocating only half the time the exam would normally require for students to take it and some will be exempt.
Why? The districts say the exam eats up computer time in schools, comes on top of a lot of other tests and cuts into instructional time. They believe they can pressure-test the system - to see if the technology is working and validate questions - without taking the entire seven hours.
Why the field test? The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, a group of 23 states developing the exam, is using the test to judge 22,000 questions. Actual scoring begins next year.
To what end? The exams are expected to become the new graduation test for Idaho high schoolers, replacing the ISAT.