Common Core testing is happening right now in South Dakota and across the country. Students are taking the Smarter Balanced test, which is based on the Common Core standards. Districts won't be held accountable for results this year, but that will change.
Fifth and sixth grade students in Aberdeen have finished the test. Juniors are currently taking it.
"So far, the process has gone very well for our district. We have learned some lessons along the way," assistant superintendent Becky Guffin said.
The computer-based test had some minor password issues. Guffin says those issues were quickly resolved.
The smaller Northwestern district south of Aberdeen hasn't been facing many issues either. One student hasn't finished the test, principal Rich Osborn says, because the system wouldn't let her answer a question near the end. Only high school students have completed the assessment so far in that district.
"We'll know more next week after the middle school and elementary get through. It's nice to have the year to test the test," Osborn said.
In Aberdeen, parent Pat Ackerman agrees.
"Glad they do have the testing year but over all you just hear a lot of controversy about it," Ackerman said.
Despite that concern, he's confident his daughter's school will address issues as they surface. Guffin says the district will.
"Once we get results back next year, it certainly will be good for us to take a look, just like we've done in the past, take a look at what our strengths and weaknesses are,” Guffin said. “We'll always make changes based on that as well as other data sources we collect in the district as well."
Osborn says his district is waiting to see how elementary students adjust to computer-based testing. Guffin says it hasn't been an issue with younger kids in Aberdeen yet.