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Use your child’s state test scores to support school success

Across the nation, students have been taking new state tests that align with the Common Core State Standards. The tests, created by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC), were taken last spring by children in grades 3-8 and 11.

Test scores are just one way to gauge how your child is progressing in school — homework and daily classroom experiences are also important. But understanding your child’s test results can help you to uncover your child’s specific strengths as well as struggles.

The new tests focus on skills students need most, like critical thinking and problem solving. In English language arts, students are expected to show evidence from what they are reading to support their conclusions. In math, they’re asked to solve real-world problems and explain their thinking. These skills build on each other in successive grades to ensure students are prepared for college and career.

To help you understand the test and how to best help your child succeed, GreatSchools partnered with educators and assessment experts to create a new, free online tool: the GreatSchools State Test Guide For Parents. This guide will help you understand your child’s score report, see what skills your child should be learning, and give you powerful, targeted ideas and resources to support your child.

Once you’ve explored this guide, be sure to connect with your child’s teacher to find out how your child is doing in class, and ask for more ideas about how you can help at home. With the GreatKids State Test Guide’s help, you can start off the school year as your child’s most powerful champion.