Young Johnny Can’t Type

Computer_keyboardThe Idaho Statesman points out a problem with the Common Core Assessments that hasn’t been discussed much.  Younger elementary students don’t know how to type and yet they’re going to be expected to take an online assessment that includes writing essays.  Idaho is part of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.

Forget whether Johnny can read. The new question is: Can Johnny type?

It’s a question now because Idaho elementary school students as young as 8 will be typing essay-style answers on the new Common Core achievement test next spring on computers.

For older students, that shouldn’t be much of a concern. But for many third-, fourth- and fifth-graders taking the hours-long test, that could be a challenge.

Typing isn’t the only problem however:

Typing is just one of the worries about the coming tests. Some Idaho districts already have complained that the exams – which could take 7 to 8 1/2 hours – are too long, eat into instruction time, clash with other tests students must take, and will monopolize computer labs across the state during the eight-week testing window.

There is a push in Idaho to get that state to put off using the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  Here again we have another example of how states in a mad rush to implement the Common Core neglected to think about problems like these.