New Tests Could Pose Problems for Shelby County Schools

Mar 7, 2014

Typing skills -- along with new educational benchmarks --  have some teachers worried about their students' ability on next year's Common Core assessment tests. 

WKNO speaks with reporter Tajuana Cheshier of Chalkbeat Tennessee, an online magazine devoted to Tennessee's educational issues.

Cheshier says that officials predict an initial dip in scores due to unfamiliarity with the test. But at a time when new municipal school systems will be competing for students, Shelby County Schools has even more pressure to keeps its district scores up.

Some of the problems are practical: this new test is administered via computer. It includes an essay section. Many SCS eighth graders haven't learned how to type, as many families don't have ready access to computers.

So in addition to learning new curricula, many students will now also have to learn typing skills.