Charlotte Mecklenburg School students took standardized tests in 52 new courses last year, as part of the district’s initiative to track student growth in all subjects. CMS expected to add another 40 this year, but now the district is waiting for the state to take the lead.
North Carolina has pledged to measure students in many more subject areas as part of its successful proposal to get $400 million in federal Race to the Top money.
The state’s Department of Public Instruction is just beginning the process and expects to bring on districts to help create the tests. CMS Interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh says it makes sense to collaborate with the state.
“We don’t want to duplicate processes. We don’t want to spend money where they’re spending money. So we’re going do a collaborative job to ensure we’re leveraging their resources,” says Hattabaugh.
CMS students will still have to take the tests the district rolled out last year, but they won’t count toward students’ grades as initially planned this year. Hattabaugh says the tests will still be useful for teachers wanting to gauge what their students have learned over the year.