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Assembly Approves Overhaul of Public School Testing

Posted on 05/31/2013

Tom Torlakson

Legislation sponsored by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson to create a new statewide assessment system using computer-based exams that would measure and promote student progress toward career and college readiness has been approved by the state Assembly.

Assembly Bill 484 (Bonilla) would limit the use of Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) system tests for the 2013-14 school year and begin statewide use of new assessments aligned to California's Common Core State Standards in 2014-15.

"I'm gratified that the Assembly agrees that California's students deserve new assessments that gauge their knowledge of the real-world skills that open the door to success in a career and in college," Torlakson said. "These new assessments will ask students to reason through complex problems and think in-depth, giving teachers new insights and new tools to improve learning."

Torlakson's proposal would retain assessments required to meet federal mandates or those administered under the Early Assessment Program, as the state moves to put in place tests developed by the Smarter Balanced consortium. California serves as one of the governing states in the consortium.

AB 484 would establish the California Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress for the 21st Century (CALMAPP21), including the use of the Smarter Balanced assessments, to replace the existing STAR program.

The legislation is based on Torlakson's recommendations contained in his Recommendations for Transitioning California to a Future Assessment System External link opens in new window or tab released in January to guide the process of reauthorizing and revamping California's statewide assessment system, which currently sunsets on July 1, 2014.

Assembly approval sends the bill to the State Senate.

Source: California Department of Education media release External link opens in new window or tab.

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