Common Core Testing

The 2014-2015 school year has been, and will continue to be, one of the most critical school years in recent memory for the future of education. Despite facing more and more push back from states and politicians, Common Core Testing is officially taking place in 32 states this year. These tests have been designed to help all students acquire the skills and knowledge they need to achieve success at college or in the workforce. The results will likely help shape the future of education in the
the United States.

Assessment Consortia Membership for 2014-2015 Testing
$360 million in federal grants has gone to groups of states developing common assessments

Pages from 0450_PPlusSummer2015_Web-8Minimum Requirements for Common Core Testing


Each student must have one of the following devices: Windows, Mac™, or Linux desktop or laptop computer, a Chromebook™, iPad®, Windows, or Android™ tablet. Devices must have at least 1024 x 768 display resolution. Smarter Balanced requires a 10” screen and PARCC requires a 9.5” screen.

Network Bandwidth

Smarter Balanced: Must connect to the internet with a minimum of 20 kbps available per student tested simultaneously. Local web proxy caching servers are not recommend. PARCC: with caching a minimum of 5 kbps per student is required, without caching a minimum of 50 kbps/student is required.


The device must have administrative tools and capabilities to temporarily disable features, functionalities, and applications that could present a security risk during test administration. Admins must be able to “lock down” devices when necessary.


Headphones or ear buds are required during the English portion of the tests, and for students who require text-to-speech features on the mathematics portion. USB headphones recommended, but standard headphones are permitted.

Mouse or Touchpad

A pointing device must be included. This may consist of a mouse, touch screen, touchpad, or other pointing device with which the student is familiar.


External keyboards are required unless specified by a student’s IEP or 504 plan. Any form of keyboard that disables the on-screen virtual keyboard is acceptable, including: mechanical, manual, plug and play, and wireless-based keyboards. Note: a high-density of wireless keyboards may interfere with each other or the wireless network.

Assistive Technology required/permitted as necessary.

Sources: Smarter Balanced Consortium, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College Careers, Education Week

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