All Colorado schools are conducting standardized testing this month, including the 20 schools currently hosting KidsTek programs. The current test is known as PARCC, or the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. As of this school year, this standardized test is conducted entirely on computers, and we couldn’t help but notice how the tests help demonstrate the need for students to have basic digital literacy skills.
Standardized testing has been a long-debated issue for the Colorado Department of Education. In 2010, Colorado adopted Common Core — national math and language arts standards adopted by roughly 40 states. The idea behind Common Core is to set consistent standards for all students and then compare how students are doing across states, which was not previously possible. The PARCC exam helps provide the comparative data.
Many schools were concerned about PARCC being online-based as it is requiring students who may not be technology-proficient to take tests entirely on computers, possibly affecting testing outcomes. KidsTek specifically exists in order to help students at Colorado’s highest–needs schools with both basic and advanced computer literacy.
Whether it be conducting research, applying for a job, researching colleges, or completing standardized state tests, computer literacy is no longer optional for students in our technology-dependent society. Students without basic digital proficiencies are at risk for societal, informational and economic disadvantages. KidsTek is proud to be a contributing factor in preparing students for the demands of the 21st century.
For some additional reading about the issues involved in Colorado’s adoption of Common Core and the PARCC test, please see this Denver Post article from the beginning of the school year:
and the PARCC Online web site: