Controversial Common Core testing begins

- Common Core has been causing controversy and concern since its rollout. As testing gets underway, the New York state education commissioner wants parents and students to know the state is working on fixing some of the problems. Improvements are not likely to impress some families who just want to get rid of Common Core.

Nine-year-old Lily's school troubles prompted her dad to create an app called FailedCommonCore. Users of the app can post pictures of confusing test questions or homework. The pictures are sent directly to lawmakers as part of a protest petition against Common Core.

Third to eighth graders take Common Core English and math assessment testing on April 5 in New York.

It is so unpopular that New York had the highest rate of students opting out of taking the tests in the country. The New York state education commissioner is vowing things will be better this year. For starters, kids will have more time to finish the tests. The state also got rid of the company that developed the tests and hired a new one.

Questar Assessment landed the lucrative $44 million contract. The company promises to use teacher input in test development. But the improvements will not likely do much to change the minds of Lilly and her father.

Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says the tests are improved this year but she wants to make them even better going forward. Test scores will not count against students or teachers as the testing system undergoes evaluation and changes during the next four years. Elia says these tests are an important yardstick to measure student abilities.

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