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State Ending Standardized Tests?

Sacramento, CA — The California Senate approved a bill yesterday that would end standardized testing in math, reading and science.

AB 484 would replace the STAR multiple choice tests with those that would follow the new Common Core curriculum. Common Core focuses less on memorizing information, and more on applying information to real life situations. The vote was 25-7, and it now moves onto the Assembly.

The Associated Press reports that Federal Education Secretary Arne Duncan is against the abrupt switch, and says it would leave the state without test scores for a one year period while the Common Core transition takes place. He has threatened to withhold federal funds if AB 484 becomes law.

California schools have used the STAR multiple choice tests since 1999.

The new Common Core curriculum was the focus of a recent Mother Lode Views show. Click here to find the entire 30-minute program.

(The below information was provided by the Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools Office to clarify items related to AB 484)

-This bill proposes to suspend STAR testing in English language arts and mathematics for the 2013-2014 school year, and replaces it with the new Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress (MAPP), using the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium field tests in English language arts and mathematics this year.

-Science (STAR) testing in grades 5, 8, and 10 would still be in place this year, as a requirement of NCLB, until a successor assessment is implemented. (SBAC does not presently have a field test for Science).

-CAPA (STAR) testing would still be in place for students with cognitive disabilities until a successor assessment is implemented. (SBAC does not presently have a field test for CAPA).

-EAP (Early Assessment Program) which is a subtest of the current STAR test would still be in place. When students pass this test, they demonstrate competence to meet the college entrance requirements for math and ELA.