From the Washington Post:
The U.S. Department of Education is allowing California to bypass
federal requirements by giving standardized tests in math and reading to
millions of public school students this spring without publicly
reporting results or using them to hold schools or teachers accountable.
This is for this year only.
Duncan had been threatening to hold on to up to $3.5B in federal funding (shades of Washington State) :
But in a letter sent to California officials Friday, Assistant
Education Secretary Deborah Delisle wrote that her department has
approved the state’s plan. “I hope you find this flexibility helpful,”
Well that's big of them.
California and other states faced a quandary: Should they just dust
off their old tests, which don’t relate to the Common Core, and hope for
California lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to scrap the
old tests and give field tests, with sample questions, of the Common
Core exam that is still being put together.
Because a field test is not designed to be a reliable measure of student
achievement, California will not score the tests, and the results will
not be publicly reported. The state intends to use test scores from last
year’s standardized tests to make decisions about school performance,
essentially maintaining the status quo for this transition year,
Hilariously, Rep George Miller, who apparently does not understand how most of these tests are given (or used or when they are taken), said this:
We don’t test kids just to test them. We test them to see how well they are learning and how teachers can improve their craft.”
How will this work?
California will administer the Common Core field tests to all 3.4
million students in the designated testing grades, at a cost of about
Arun Ramanathan, executive director of Education Trust-West, a nonprofit
group that works to close the achievement gap between poor and affluent
students, said officials in several school districts are frustrated
because they want to see the results of the field tests.