The old California Standardized Tests are a thing of the past.
Governor Jerry Brown just signed Assembly Bill 484, which immediately suspends the old tests and funds a trial run this year of the new Smarter Balanced Assessments, which will be taken on computers and are aligned with the new Common Core curriculum.
“I’ve said from the beginning, California needs tests that measure how ready our students are for the challenges of a changing world,” State Superintendent Tom Torlakson said in a statement.
A number of groups, including Ed Voice, Educators 4 Excellence, Teach Plus, and Parent Revolution, had urged Brown to veto the new law on the grounds that it would leave school districts with a year of missing test data, which is often used to gauge the effectiveness of teachers, administrators and schools.
“At this critical juncture in our transition to Common Core, the public needs a thoughtful, rational middle approach that both gives teachers, students and parents space to adapt to new standards, and also maintains transparency for all our stakeholders,” Ama Nyamekye, executive director of Educators 4 Excellence, said in a statement. Unfortunately, AB 484 does not deliver on this important second task. By signing this bill, Governor Brown has created a black hole of information for students, parents and teachers.”
Superintendent John Deasy had also been deeply critical of the bill, on the grounds that it only funded either the math or English parts of the new Smarter Balanced Assessments. Deasy had been urging lawmakers to fund both tests.
Deasy now says that LAUSD will cover the costs of the test that the state doesn’t pay for and that he will try to find a way to use the Smarter Balanced testing data to gauge student performance.
*This adds statement from Educators 4 Excellence.
Previous posts: Coalition Calls on Gov. Brown to Veto Testing Bill, AB 484; CA Has a Plan for Using Test Scores — Even With No Tests (Updated); Superintendent Deasy Not Happy With Latest Testing Bill; California Could Face Year With No Meaningful Testing Data