Standardized testing to make comparisons of pupil achievement among the different states in the nation remains a problem to be solved. Under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law, each state developed their very own tests which made for differences in levels of complexity when making comparisons. Pupils were/are promoted in grades three through eight more frequently within a state due to easier test items.

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were to remedy this problem with all pupils in the nation taking the same age/grade level test. Forty-five states initially signed up for CCSS, but some have backed out, leaving 37 states involved presently. But, eleven of these will utilize other tests or are undecided. Kansas, for example, will administer tests developed by the University of Kansas.

Why these differences in test selection of how pupils will be appraised?

* cost is one factor which averages $24 per pupil. Adaptations will be made by some of previously used standardized tests in attempting to harmonize with CCSS standards.

* online testing is required for CCSS, and smaller school districts may not be able to accommodate computerized testing.

* skepticism over federal testing of pupils to ascertain progress.

All of the above named factors make it difficult to compare pupil achievement and progress among the different states, using CCSS standards.

— Marlow Ediger, North Newton