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No More "STAR" Testing for Calif. Students

CPR file photo/Andrew Nixon
 

CPR file photo/Andrew Nixon

California students can say goodbye to the “STAR” tests they’ve taken for years.  The tests are being eliminated under a bill signed Wednesday by Governor Jerry Brown, as the state moves to a new curriculum.  But the transition isn’t going over well with the Obama administration.

California, like other states, is moving from its own curriculum  tothe new nationwide “Common Core” curriculum.  And it’s not just textbooks and homework assignments that are changing – it’s the standardized tests, too.  With this new law, California will ditch “STAR” testing this school year, even though the “Common Core” tests won’t be fully ready until next year.

“Why spend $25 million, waste $25 million, on testing old standards that aren’t being taught in our classrooms any more,” asks state schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson, when the money would be better spent trying out the new testing system instead?

But U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has said the legislation would violate federal law, since California students will not be fully tested this year.  He’s threatened to withhold federal school funding as a result.

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Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio