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New Standardized Tests Coming This Fall

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COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Students in Idaho will be facing a new test this coming school year, the smart-balanced assessment. The new test implements the new Idaho core standards, also known as the common core standards, adopted in 2010. 

Since 2010, the Coeur d'Alene Public School District has been slowly implementing the new core standards. However, it was not until last year that they were fully adopted. 

The district director of curriculum says these new tests challenge students to do away with "memorization" and focus on critical thinking. 

"The students are doing real world application, the students are doing critical thinking, and they are using their resources wisely to be able to do it," says Nelson. 

The previous standards, according to Nelson, would simply ask for a students understanding in a particular topic. The example Nelson used was the ability to add single digit integers, but these new core standards ask students to demonstrate these skills. 

These new tests abandon multiple choice and are constantly adapting, providing tougher questions for every one answered correctly and vice versa for questions a student is having trouble with. 

"These new standards are going to ask kids to demonstrate new core standards in unique ways and then see how patterns develop," said Nelson. 

The results of these tests will be made available in August to see how well students are receiving the material and how well this new system works. With critical thinking at the forefront of approaching each problem, educators like Nelson are excited about this new test-taking format. 

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