California’s New Testing Program

Students in grades three through eight and eleven will start taking a new test. Beginning as early as March 10, 2015 districts will administer Smarter Balanced Assessments. These computer-based tests will be aligned with the state’s rigorous new standards for English language arts and math. Smarter Balanced is part of a comprehensive new testing program which replaces the Standardized Testing and Reporting Program that expired in 2013.

The California Department of Education states that these assessments provide important information as to whether students are on track to pursue a college education and/or a career by the time they graduate from high school. The tests provide timely and actionable student information so that teachers and schools can adjust and improve teaching. Parents will receive a report of their child’s scores. But no student, parent or teacher should be discouraged by these scores, which will not be used to determine whether a student moves on to the next grade.

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