My son is in 4th grade. He took the first part of his Common Core exam, and everyone in the class was given Form C except for him; he was given Form B. What would be the reason my son was issued a different form?

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M. Erez Kats, Seattle Language Arts Teacher

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Yes, I would have to say that in all likelihood, the form your son received is probably a random occurrence. Most of the Common Core and Smarter Balanced assessments I have seen here in WA are one of a set of 4 or 5. Each form either focuses on a similar topic, but a slightly different skill, or sometimes it may focus on a similar skill with a slightly different topic. These tests are similar though on the whole, in that they are still based on a particular standard or set of standards that must be covered uniformly on all tests. There are not, to my knowledge, varying degrees of difficulty amongst these different forms. The tests in general are designed to be tougher than the state tests that were given earlier, which were perceived to be too easy, and therefore all of these new tests are supposed to challenge your son's intellect more than before. That said, many schools are also likely disorganized in terms of which students get which tests, and in some cases may not have any proper instructions on how to break up tests according to categories or different types of students. In many cases they are either guessing or randomly choosing which student get s what test. Hope that helps.

Michael Schoch, Noodle Intern

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That's a very tough question to answer without knowing more about your son's academic performance and needs.

After researching common core forms online, it looks like the letters assigned to the various forms change depending upon the grade level to which they are given. One explanation may be that half of the students in your son's class were issued Form C and the other half Form B to inhibit academic dishonesty. Another explanation is that it was a mistake and your son received he form he shouldn't have. If your son has a learning disability or needs services such as time extensions on standardized tests, he may have received a slightly different version. For more information about the Common Core in general, I suggest reading Everything You Need to Know about the Common Core by Adam D'Arpino.

Sorry I can't give you something more conclusive. Hopefully this at least helps you narrow the field of possibilities!

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