Montana Schools Receive Federal Testing Waiver

By Beacon Staff

HELENA — Montana’s superintendent of public instruction says the state has received a federal waiver allowing just one standardized test for students.

Montana had asked the U.S. Department of Education for permission to test students based on the new Common Core state education standards, rather than based on the “No Child Left Behind” law.

Superintendent Denise Juneau said Tuesday that Montana is the first state to receive the waiver to avoid double testing.

Juneau said the new Smarter Balance test better explains what is expected of students at each level, and emphasizes critical thinking over memorization.

Juneau says the move is supported by local schools, teachers and education groups.

Montana two years ago joined most other states in adopting the Common Core standards that supporters say better prepare students.

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