New law will allow field testing of Common Core-aligned assessments

e-Connections Post

A bill signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown today suspends most California Standards Tests (CSTs) this spring and allows school districts to pilot new online assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

As a result, SCUSD is accelerating its work to implement the standards and gearing up its technology infrastructure to accommodate the new computer-based assessments.

SCUSD’s plan is to pilot the tests in English Language Arts and math for all students in grades 3-8 and grade 11 this spring. CSTs will still be given in science.

“Taking full advantage of a pilot year for new online assessments will help our students, teachers, staff and parents to understand this tremendous shift we are making in preparing students for college and career,” said Superintendent Jonathan Raymond.

Because these tests will be a new experience for both students and teachers, the law (AB 484) restricts use of the data to test development purposes only. The field testing is proposed as a “test of the tests.”

Parents can take a sample Common Core-aligned online test by clicking here.

The new legislation also lifts the requirement that the state develop Academic Performance Indexes for schools for the next two years.

The online assessments are scheduled to permanently replace the paper-and-pencil CSTs in the 2014-15 school year.