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Montana Schools Switch Assessment Guidelines

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Montana schools are taking on a new face in education. The Common Core state education standards are already making their way into the Montana school system.

Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction, Denise Juneau, filed a waiver on Wednesday with the federal government that would move these new education standards into play much more quickly than expected.

The No Child Left Behind Law, which led to standardized testing in schools, has drawn much criticism for holding students to standards, which vary from state to state.

"Last June, U.S. Department of Education said that they would be issuing guidance to allow states to enter into this form of not double testing and instead test on these new standards. I followed up in July with a letter to them expressing my intent not to double test as well," said Juneau.

Juneau says she wants students to begin taking the Smarter Balance test which will end up giving teachers a more clear understanding of areas where their students need improvement as they enter into the next grade.

"We will be making application to not double test next year. Instead move to the Smarter Balance, all in, sort of testing scenario for this spring."

The new form of testing is meant to implement a higher standard of tests that will apply to all schools in the United States. The end result being more high school graduates prepared for college.

"Schools are now aligning their local curriculum so that students are learning more rigorous content in their classroom," Juneau said.

The Montana Board of Public Education voted in 2011 to move forward with the new assessment standards in Montana schools and the board is hoping to submit the application by November, for full implementation of Common Core standards.