The Governor of California signed a number of education related bills into law this morning. One of particular interest involves major changes to how schools in California will test students and establish a comprehensive assessment system that best meets the needs of teachers, students, and parents. Assembly Bill 484 establishes the Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress, commencing with the 2013-14 school year, as the statewide assessment program, aligned with the common core state standards, and provides for a rational transition from the existing statewide assessment system to the new system. The new system will replace the current STAR testing system and Academic Performance Index which is used to measure and report school academic progress.
In a press release, State Superintendent of Schools, Tom Torlakson, says schools will be field-testing a new assessment system this year.
“For the current school year, AB 484 requires districts to administer field tests of the Smarter Balanced assessments (computer adaptive tests)- with half of the students taking math and the other half taking English-language arts. Field tests serve as “tests of the tests” allowing experts to discern the accuracy and reliability of individual test questions before finalizing the assessments for full-scale use. As such, no field test scores will be produced or reported during the field test year.”
The Governor signed 13 education bills in total.
According to press release from the Governor’s Office, “Today’s action also builds on the historic school funding reforms signed into law by Governor Brown in July. The legislation – called the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) – replaces California’s overly complex, inefficient and inequitable finance system for K-12 schools and directs additional resources to the state’s neediest students, while restoring local control over how money is spent on schools.”