Education experts take the new standardized test

By Amy Ash Nixon
For Vermont Digger

A group of adults went back to school recently to take a standardized test required of Vermont students starting this year.
Rep. David Sharpe, D-Bristol, chair of the House Education Committee, was one of four who took the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium online test at Montpelier High School.
The Smarter Balanced Assessment is a new state test which replaces the NECAP — New England Common Assessment Program test. An increasing number of colleges are now using the SBAC as part of their admission reviews.
It was an exercise that Sharpe, a retired teacher who has been at the helm of education governance reform this session, was the last to finish.
“While the test appears to be good with regard to evaluating the skills a student needs to have in order to be successful in college, I’m not sure how well it measures potential success in life,” Sharpe said. “At least on my version of the test, there were no questions on credit cards, checking accounts, car or mortgage financing, the function of retirement accounts, or understanding the stock market.”
Also taking the test were Scott Giles, president and CEO of the Vermont Student Assistance Corp., Ric Reardon, director of education at Castleton State College, and a VTDigger reporter.

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