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Tennessee Department of Education Increases Amount of Benchmark Tests to Better Curriculum

TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION INCREASES BENCHMARK TESTING -- Benchmark tests have been increased statewide to help improve the curriculum.

via The Tennessean

TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION INCREASES BENCHMARK TESTING -- Benchmark tests have been increased statewide to help improve the curriculum.

Blake Catlett, Staff Writer

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This year, the Tennessee Department of Education scheduled several more benchmark tests for students. Before students departed for fall break, they were burdened with the final task of benchmark testing. The testing took place from October 1 to October 5. The series of tests were a first at Central; they were taken at the end of the first quarter and are scheduled to be taken at the end of each quarter for the rest of the year. The tests were taken in Algebra One and Two, Geometry, Biology, United States History, English Nine, and English Ten.

Benchmark tests are evaluative tests to help officials understand which standards in the curriculum need more focus and which standards are fine how they are. Standards that have a constant low proficiency across the board will receive an increased focus in future curriculums.

“The benchmark tests are for students, teachers, and administrators to assess student learning and comprehension to determine which state standards students have mastered and areas where students are not yet proficient,” explained Brielle Farrow, the Curriculum Coach at Central.

Even though the main focus of benchmark tests is to test the curriculum, the grades still count towards students’ overall class grade. The second benchmark, which will take place sometime between December 10 and 18, will count as students’ midterm grade for the corresponding class.

The benchmark tests were not a strong favorite among the students. Many students, disliked taking a seemingly useless test. Also, learning that the tests counted towards their overall grade brought more hate to these exams.

“I did not particularly enjoy the tests, but it seemed necessary to test the system and the kids,” recalled Sophomore Jeremy Rodgers.

Overall, the benchmark tests are great for students, teachers, and administrators. They are one of the best ways to refine the curriculum according to the students’ needs. However, a few problems arise from testing. Since testing will be a common occurrence, it cuts back on the amount of time students get to learn.

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About the Writer
Blake Catlett, Staff Writer

Hi! My name is Blake Catlett and I am a sophomore here at Central High School. This is going to be my second year on the Digest. Most of my free time is...

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Tennessee Department of Education Increases Amount of Benchmark Tests to Better Curriculum