UPDATE, September , 2013: Los Angeles USD Superintendent John Deasy has reversed his support for legislation that would, according to Howard Blume in this morning's Los Angeles Times, "speed up the overhaul of the state's standardized testing system."
...Deasy had supported the rapid changeover, provided that the state funded the testing of all students on the new exams this year. However, a proposal to make that commitment went nowhere Wednesday and Thursday in the Legislature.
So far, officials have pledged only to pay for students to take either the new math test or the new English test, but not both....
Deasy said it was “troubling” that students could not take the entire test when districts are being asked to “trade away” the ability to see and analyze test scores for a year.
Districts could choose to pay for giving the entire test, but that would give an advantage to wealthier school systems, Deasy said.
In Los Angeles, the extra testing cost would be $1.7 million...
September 5, 2013: The California State Board of Education voted yesterday to suspend all state tests, beginning this spring (2014). As John Fensterwald reports, in a contextual analysis published late yesterday on EdSource:
..The only state tests that will be given next spring will be science tests in grades 5, 8 and 10, which are required by the feds, the California high school exit exam (CAHSEE), an alternative test for severely cognitively impaired students (CAPA), and 11th grade exams used for determining placement in California State University and some community colleges....
Most intriguing in the EdSource posting are two comments from apparent educators, who write:
Manuel: According to an LA Times story posted at 6:50 pm today, September 4, this is a done deal and California will not use the CSTs in 2014. Instead:
Schools must have enough computers available on each campus to handle the testing, for example. Until now, state standardized tests were conducted entirely with pencil and paper.
California is moving up its timetable for the new computerized tests by a year, leaving some school districts scrambling to prepare.
Really? Did anybody check to see if this is possible? It goes on to say that
L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy didn’t want instructors teaching to the old test while also having to prepare for something new. For weeks, he’s pushed behind the scenes for permission to move the nation’s second-largest school system entirely to the new test and students would take the new exam on iPads that he intends to provide to each of them.
which doesn’t make sense since iPads for all won’t happen until 2014-15 and only if the piloting schools don’t have problems. But this article parts the curtain a little: Deasy does not want teachers teaching to the old test but to the new one! So it is true: teachers have been pressured to teach to the test contrary to assertions to the contrary.
The article ends with
Some school districts may have a problem simply giving the tests because of out-of-date computers or a shortage of those that work at all. Officials acknowledged this would be a challenge to work through.
Granted, the LA Times put a heck of a spin onto this story and may have even overinterpreted the negotiations. Still, we shall live in interesting times…
Fun times, Manuel. Still plenty of California schools with only limited bandwidth. Not having the computers is solved with a weekend binge at Staples or Amazon from last minute angel money. Bandwidth… not so much.
Are these tests going to be Open Google, open apps, open files? If not… was there someone with some sort of plan for who exactly will wipe the devices before the tests are administered and then restore the kids’ files after? Or dedicated devices that will be used exclusively for testing?
Rolling out 600,000 ipads simultaneously to a population of kids grades K-12… what could go wrong?