Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- It will be a challenging next couple of weeks for many students, parents and teachers across New York State.
The anxiety level is high for new standardized tests that begin Tuesday to measure curriculum just introduced in the fall.
There has been a seismic shift this school year in what is being taught in classrooms across New York. Barely more than seven months in and third through eighth graders are being measured on new material. State education officials have even gone so far as to put a YouTube video out to warn about the scores on these tests when they come in.
“In fact, we expect them to be lower. We need to understand this is a new starting point for teachers, students and parents,” said a state education official.
There’s been such a shift in curriculum, especially for Math at the elementary level that West Genesee has gone so far as to have nights for parents to come in and learn how to help their kids learn it.
"The standardized tests, I think people feel like if their child doesn't perform well that all of a sudden their child is going to become labeled or something is going to happen, that couldn't be further from the truth,” said West Genesee Superintendent Chris Brown.
Brown says it’s only one part of many that goes into the overall assessment of a student. Still, he says he completely understands all the anxiety surrounding the new tests.
"That's part of the stress -- no one has seen a test. We've seen some sample questions and the sample questions are pretty challenging. There's some material around in electronic format in terms of helping students remediate or become more prepared that's aligned to the Common Core Standard and that material is very, very challenging as well,” Brown continued.
The tests will be used to measure not only student and teacher performance, but also curricular and standards performance as well.
New York State has implemented the common core standards that all but five states are also using, so the state can also measure how it stacks up nationwide.