Imagine if USC Coach Steve Spurrier was told that he would be playing an SEC team on Saturday, but wouldn’t know which team until the day of the game. As improbable as this sounds, it’s comparable to what is happening with curriculum standards and testing in our state.
The General Assembly has mandated that curriculum standards be revised. The work is beginning, although the notion that this task can be done well in just a few months seems unrealistic. It is puzzling, however, that the process to choose new statewide tests is moving forward and will be completed before new standards are adopted.
Since statewide tests are supposed to measure student achievement on the state’s curriculum standards, how does it make sense to choose a test before the standards are revised? It’s like asking Coach Spurrier to prepare for a game without knowing the opponent.
Especially because statewide tests will be used for both accountability and principal and teacher evaluation, it would make sense to delay choosing new tests until new standards are finalized. Using the current tests for one more year will not weaken accountability.
We need to take our time and do this right.
Frank E. Morgan
Superintendent, Kershaw County School District