This past school year, SVUSD made a concerted effort to move towards full implementation of Common Core State Standards. This movement isn’t so much about changing what is taught in classrooms, although this will certainly be an outcome, CCSS is about changing the way we deliver instruction. It’s an initiative to move all students to be ready for college and career when they graduate from high school, a goal that SVUSD has clearly articulated since January 2010.

In moving towards the delivery of CCSS, as a district, we chose to spend far less time preparing our students for the antiquated California Standards Test (CST), a test which tends to focus on the memorization of facts and formulas. State Superintendent Tom Torlakson is requesting that the California State Legislature vote to immediately halt the administration of the CST, as he (and nearly every other educator) clearly understands that we need to immediately move to the Smarter Balanced Assessment System (which will prove challenging for different reasons).

This past school year, SVUSD educators spent significant time focused on teaching our students how to become critical thinkers and stronger communicators; how to analyze math problems in depth rather than memorize formulas and how to work collaboratively to solve problems.

We also know that when looking at additional standardized testing measures such as The California High School Exit Exam, The California English Language Development Test, or Advance Placement Test, SVUSD students perform equally as well as their peers. This should also be addressed if we are talking about standardized testing.