State releases most standardized test scores

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana education officials have released results from more than half of the computerized tests linked to common core that students took in the spring.

Education officials said about 71 percent of students eligible to take new Smarter Balanced standardized tests recorded usable scores. About 38 percent of students scored proficient or above in math and 45 percent in English/language arts statewide.

The test included newer standards, and new tests, which cannot be compared to previous years, according to education officials.

"Scores from this year should not be compared to previous test years," Montana Superintendent of Schools Denise Juneau said.

Instead the scores will be used as a baseline to which to compare future tests.

The 2015 Smarter Balanced Assessment was taken by Montana's kids this spring under the old guidelines of the No Child Left Behind Act, which required 100 percent proficiency in math and reading by 2014.

Smarter Balanced is working with the New Hampshire-based Center For Assessment to conduct a validity study of results, which isn't finished yet.

If the study shows the scores aren't valid, the state will reassess their usefulness, Juneau said.

The testing this spring was disrupted by glitches and scoring problems in Montana as well as two other states — Nevada and North Dakota — that used Measure Progress as a vendor for the test.

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