California sets Sept. 9 for release of Common Core test results
The California Department of Education has set Sept. 9 as the probable date for releasing the results of the new statewide Common Core-aligned tests that were administered in the spring. The tests, called Smarter Balanced Assessments, were given to 3.2 million students in grades 3 to 8 and 11. The new tests will be used as part...
By LA School Report | August 28, 2015
Why the Smarter Balanced tests are so different, and maybe better
In a memo regarding the Smarter Balanced Assessments, LA Unified officials explained to Superintendent Ramon Cortines and members of the school board how the new test is so different from its predecessor and why scores may appear lower than in the past. Cynthia Lim, executive director of the district’s Office of Data and Accountability, said...
By Mike Szymanski | August 21, 2015
Commentary: Another test, but what is it, exactly?
In a recent opinion piece in The New York Times, “When the Circus Descends,” David Brooks derided opponents of Common Core Standards, implying that they were ideologues on the far left and far right making “hysterical claims and fevered accusations.” But as I visit classrooms across the city talking to teachers about the Common Core,...
By Ellie Herman | April 29, 2014
Smarter Balanced Field Tests around CA starting tomorrow
As California gets ready to transition to a new assessment system, the state is set to rollout its Smarter Balanced Field Test starting tomorrow. As part of the field test, the state will be examining technological capacity and the quality of test questions, while helping students and teachers prepare for next year’s first operational test,...
By Yana Gracile | March 24, 2014
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‘Big 8’ districts launch assessment tools for Common Core*
This story has been updated for clarification. A group of some of the largest school districts in California is launching an online bank of student assessment tools to help teachers measure learning as the rollout of the new Common Core curriculum gains speed this year. The 60 “performance modules,” covering multiple grades for both English language arts and math instruction, are free...
By LA School Report | January 13, 2014
In Reversal, California Expands Statewide Tests to 2 Subjects
Under pressure from the federal government, California is expanding a field test of computer-based assessments to test students in both math and English language arts, rather than just one subject area. A law recently signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, AB 484, (see story here) requires testing in only one subject. The change, announced yesterday by...
By LA School Report | November 22, 2013
LA Unified Gets Next Installment for Common Core, $54 Million
California schools this week are receiving the second half of a $1.25 billion block grant from the state to support their move to the Common Core academic standards, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today. Districts received the first half of the funds in September and the second half—about $622 million—today. LA Unified...
By LA School Report | November 12, 2013
Deasy Deputy Jaime Aquino Resigns (Updated)
Jaime Aquino, LA Unified’s Superintendent of Instruction has resigned, according to Superintendent John Deasy and School Board President Richard Vladovic. “Dr. Aquino served the students of LAUSD admirably for the past few years, Vladovic said today in an email. “He made a decision to leave the District and pursue other endeavors. I wholeheartedly thank him for...
By Hillel Aron | September 13, 2013
CA Has a Plan for Using Test Scores — Even With No Tests (Updated)
While a bill awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature would end statewide testing for a year – he’s expected to sign it – state officials plan to use older test results to assure that California receives its annual Title I allocations. To comply with federal regulations that states must provide annual test results to qualify for...
By Vanessa Romo | September 13, 2013
Public Dislikes Common Core Standards, Says New Gallup Poll
The new Common Core State Standards, now being phased in by California and 44 other states, are getting low grades from the American public, according to the 45th edition of the PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools, the longest-running survey of American attitudes on education. “Americans’ mistrust of standardized tests and...
By LA School Report | August 21, 2013