An editorial in the Los Angeles Times (9/17) portrays the clash between California education officials and ED over the state’s plan to abandon state tests in favor of a “limited version” of Common Core assessments as an escalation of past disputes between the parties. The paper supports the state’s plan to “get an early start” on the testing, but notes that it would violate NCLB. The piece notes that Education Secretary Arne Duncan “takes a dim view” of the plan, because it would not generate test scores for some students for a year, but adds that Superintendent Tom Torlakson “says the state will not back down” in the face of ED’s threat to cut Federal funding. The Times finds fault with both sides, saying that the state “should test all of its students,” and that Duncan’s expectation that the state use the first year of Common Core testing to measure AYP progress is flawed.
Meanwhile, KNBC-TV broadcast that Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s “threat to withhold federal education funding from California may be softening up just a little bit,” noting that he told the Los Angeles Times that “he supports California’s efforts to aggressively pursue the new Common Core Standards, but he doesn’t like that test scores will be delayed” because they are “critical” for parents and educators.