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No More Tears: AB 484 Paves Way to High tech Assessments and Stops Second grade Testing

(Photo above.) During testimony on CTA-backed legislation to stop damaging testing of second graders, lawmakers themselves told stories of their own youngsters’ trauma at facing exams at too young an age.

CTA-backed AB 484, a measure by Assembly Member Susan Bonilla (D-Concord), has given California the space it needs to implement effective and high-tech student assessments that are tied to the ambitious Common Core State Standards. 

AB 484 suspends the use of California’s antiquated and out-of-synch student testing – including the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) exams.

Also of high importance, the bill stops the testing of California second-graders, something not required by federal statute that has proven to do more harm than good to the youngsters.

On a timeline, the state will be phasing in students assessments developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, a group of 25 states and the Virgin Islands that is preparing new forms of “testing” to be administered to students via computer.

Computers will facilitate the use of “adaptive” technology to assess the abilities of students with learning disabilities more fairly.

To help prepare our schools for the new assessments and new technology, the 2013-2014 state budget has provided $1.25 billion professional development, technology and other items needed to implement the Common Core effectively.

During its own work on the budget, trailer bills, and other legislation, the Association took stances consistent with policy adopted by the CTA State Council of Education:

  • „  CTA believes effective assessment and testing – both aligned to state standards and used as diagnostic tools – can improve instruction and learning.
  • „  Testing must be age and subject appropriate.
  • „  It must be free from cultural, racial, gender, socio-economic and linguistic biases.
  • „  Teachers must have the resources and professional development to help their students succeed.

Click here to get to the web page of CTA’s Instruction and Professional Development Department (IPD), which provides extensive training and information about the new assessments that are flowing from the Common Core State Standards.

 

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