Computerized Common Core testing could come to NY schools

NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Students might be trading in their number two pencils for a computer mouse as the New York State Education Department wants to computerize standardized tests.

The state board of education is pushing for computerized standardized tests by next school year, but some parents question if the format is reliable.

Anthony has a few more years before he has to worry about Common Core testing, but his mother, Marissa Suraez, has her doubts about the standards.

“I don’t feel that they need to make a whole complex story out of simple math,” she said.

So when she heard the tests might go digital, she wasn’t sure that was the best idea.

“Technology in general nowadays isn’t extremely reliable, so how are they supposed to handle complex problem solving and then handling it online,” she wondered.

But New York’s education department is pushing to have the tests computerized. It stated in a memorandum sent to all school districts that it’s a way to keep up with a technology driven generation.

Niskayuna Central Schools Superintendent Dr. Cosimo Tangorra said switching from writing to digital does have its benefits.

“The move to computer-based testing would result in a quicker turnaround of the results and would eliminate at some point the need for stand alone field tests,” he said.

Tangorra also said the change brings the possibility of adapting tests to a student’s academic ability.

“Students are challenged or given more appropriate test questions based on previous answers,” he said.

But there’s another element some parents are unsure of.

“It seems experimental to me,” parent Liza Miller said. “Before we had a solid plan. All the adults know the solid plan, and now we’re at a loss with our children doing Common Core testing.”

This year, NYSED is giving schools the option to test the digital test. The school can administer field tests online to try it out.

NYSED said the trial run will help districts plan for the official roll out of computerized based tests.

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