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  • Tuesday, September 10, 2013

     
    State Senate approves AB 484 despite Feds objections


    The California State Senate voted approval Tuesday September 10. 2013 of Assembly Bill 484 that would let most students “test” new computer-based assessments this year and suspend usage of most of the state’s outdated multiple-choice exams.

    The Senate vote comes just one day after the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued a warning to California that if AB 484 is approved, the state may lose federal funding.

    The legislation now heads to the Assembly for a final vote before heading to Governor Brown for his signature.

    Assembly Bill 484 now calls for nearly all of the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program to be suspended during field tests of new assessments known as the Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress (MAPP). The bill calls for the new program to permanently replace California's STAR tests in the 2014-15 school year to prepare students for the Common Core standards approved by 45 states.

    The revised legislation, co-authored by Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, calls for a full suspension of STAR tests in mathematics and English-language arts, while leaving science tests in place. The full suspension would however result in the suspension of test scores for the year of trial runs. It is that suspension and lack of scores that Duncan opposes.

    The State Board of Education voted unanimously last week to seek a waiver consistent with state law from the U.S Department of Education to suspend all standardized testing, including federally required tests.


    Support of AB 428 has lead to a very public debate between Duncan and California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. 

    The Assembly is expected to approve the bill and Gov. Brown has indicated he will sign it into law.
    .







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