More Coverage Of California Common Core Test Reversal


The Los Angeles Times (11/21, Blume) reports that California officials have announced that despite a plan--codified in a recently signed law--to abandon the state’s STAR assessment and to allow districts to supplant it with either the math or the English portion of Common Core-aligned assessments, the state will now require “nearly all California students” to take both tests. The piece quotes Los Angeles USD Chief Deputy Superintendent Richard Zeiger saying, “The motivator was that we heard from a lot of districts and school officials and teachers that they wanted to see both halves of the test.” Only at the end of the article does the Times mention the conflict between the state and the Administration over the issue, noting that the move “brings California more closely in line with federal testing rules.”

        The San Jose (CA) Mercury News (11/25) focuses more on the conflict with ED, noting that California was facing the potential loss of “$3.5 billion in federal funds for suspending high-stakes testing next spring.” The piece notes that notwithstanding the change, the state still may not be in compliance, because it does not plan to release test results. The Mercury News reports that Zieger says that the state is seeking a double-testing waiver. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the paper reports, has “criticized California’s testing plan and threatened to withhold in federal funds unless the state tests all students and publishes results.”

        Noting that the state could be facing “tens of millions of dollars in fines,” EdSource Today (11/25, Fensterwald) reports that Superintendent Tom Torlakson announced that he “would require school districts to offer the Common Core practice tests…in both math and English language arts next spring.”