What if the school doesn't have a good internet connection?
Nestled between mountains 60 miles from the nearest city, students at Cuyama Valley High School use Internet connections about one-tenth the minimum speed recommended for the modern U.S. classroom.
So when it came time to administer the new Common Core-aligned tests online, the district of 240 students in a valley of California oil fields and sugar beet farms faced a challenge.
New Cuyama has no access to fiber optic cables. Some residents live entirely off the grid, relying on solar power and generators. The local telephone company provided a few extra lines, but that only bumped speeds a few megabits.
"We tripled our capacity but it's still woefully inadequate," said Paul Chounet, superintendent of the Cuyama Joint Unified School District.
Across the country, school districts in rural areas like New Cuyama and other pockets with low bandwidth are confronting a difficult task: Administering the new standardized tests to students online, laying bare a tech divide in the nation's classrooms...
The Common Core standards adopted in 43 states and the District of Columbia provide uniform benchmarks for what students should know in each grade in reading and math. To aid their adoption, two groups of states received grants from the U.S. Department of Education to develop new assessments required to be computer based.I myself was not happy with the practice test I took last year.