In the media lab of an elementary school in Sacramento, fourth grader Aanyah Jacobs answers questions that pop up on a computer screen one at a time. She’s one of the more than three million California public school students testing out the state’s new assessment.
“I like it. It’s better than the other test where you just bubble it in," Jacobs says. "And it helps us to learn how to also work the computer.”
State Superintendent Tom Torlakson says this is the largest field test of its kind in the country. Between now and June all students in grades three through eight and some high schoolers will take practice tests. Torlakson says surveys and focus groups will then be conducted to see how the assessment worked. He says making sure schools’ technology is up-to-date is critical.
“I’m hopeful the state of California will provide some more money for more computer capacity," he says. "As we go forward we’ll understand, from the field test of today and the next few weeks, we’ll understand where there are shortcomings and how to address them and we’ll start investing in closing the gaps.”
The non-timed assessment will test kids on math, writing and comprehension. The format may be different from the traditional pencil and paper tests students are used to. But fourth grader Aanyah isn’t worried.
“I’m very confident in me that I’m going to succeed and pass the test.”
California schools will begin teaching to Common Core standards next school year.
A shortage of teachers in Washoe County has forced the school district to fill vacant positions with more substitute teachers. That is reducing the pool of available substitutes for short-term assignments.
University of California students are getting at least a temporary reprieve from tuition increases scheduled to take effect in the coming academic year.
A British university has moved a step closer to establishing a campus in Placer County.
(AP) - Students at 13 California State University campuses will be getting access to a new online textbook resource in hopes of offsetting the burdensome cost of traditional textbooks.
A group of non-profit organizations in Sacramento County are moving forward with a campaign to improve the health of black children and lower their mortality rates.