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.
The plan to raise tuition at the University of California is expected to be approved Thursday.
Over the objections of Gov. Jerry Brown, a UC Board of Regents committee has approved President Janet Napolitano’s proposal to raise tuition 5 percent in each of the next five school years – unless the state increases UC funding.
Using art to teach a student math may sound odd, but a group of educators says it can and should be done. And they’re using a change in how California students are taught as a chance to spread their message.
Leaky roofs, broken-down air conditioning, and faulty fire alarms are some of the problems that the Manteca Unified School District hopes to fix with a $159-million bond measure.
Legislative Republicans are calling on Democrats to reverse a law included in this year’s California budget package that restricts the ability of school districts to build large reserves.