The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:
NOTE: Mitchell Chester, who is quoted in the article, is one of 3 finalists for Kentucky Education Commissioner.
Educators will soon be able to determine whether students taking Algebra II in Lakewood, Ohio, are learning as much as students taking the same class 490 miles away in Lakewood, N.J.
That's because the two states are part of a nine-state consortium that has developed a common, end-of-course Algebra II exam. It marks the largest effort a group of states has undertaken to develop a common assessment based on common standards...
The exam, which will be available to districts in May 2008, will give Ohio educators an external gauge of how their classes measure up against very similar standards in other states, said Mitchell Chester, associate Ohio superintendent for policy and accountability.
Districts do not have to administer the exam. But interest in such an assessment appears to be high, Chester said.
About 200,000 students in nine states - Kentucky, Arkansas, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, as well as New Jersey and Ohio - are expected to take the exam.
"This kind of end-of-the-course exam will provide districts with a lot of feedback on how their curriculum is matching up," Chester said. "We have to have our eyes open as to whether our students are leaving high school prepared to compete in a global economy."