A deal in the works in the California Legislature would bring the current system of standardized tests to an immediate halt, clearing the way for a new way of assessing the state's 3.3 million students, officials said Wednesday.
Under a compromise, the state would move toward an early expansion of the new testing program.
The state, however, would not use these new exams to evaluate either students or teachers in the first year.
The goal is "not to look in the rear-view mirror, but to really move ahead," said state Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
The approach, if approved by the Legislature and governor, would have immediate and profound ramifications for the Los Angeles Unified School District, the state's largest. Officials had wanted to move as quickly as possible to the new tests and the direction of state lawmakers could help make this possible.
"We are very excited," said L.A. Unified lobbyist Edgar Zazueta.
But another initiative of L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy -- using student standardized test scores as part of a teacher's evaluation -- could be thrown into limbo.
The federal government also has a role to play in the final decision, because it would likely have to approve California's plan. The federal government requires the testing of students in English and math in grades three through eight as well as one year of high school. The feds also require testing science skills in three grade levels.
The proposed state plan would maintain current science tests in three grades, but use the new tests for the other federal requirements.
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