Governor Jerry Brown has AB 484 by Assemblymember Susan Bonilla (D-Concord) on his desk and is expected to sign the bill that would overhaul the state's assessment and accountability system and align it to the new Common Core State Standards. CTA-supported AB 484 suspends the current Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program immediately and allows students and educators to fully prepare to transition to the new, computer-based assessments. The state's new assessment program is called the Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress (MAPP).
"Testing students on material they have never been taught makes no sense. Neither does forcing students to take two standardized tests in the same year," said CTA President Dean E. Vogel in a news release issued statewide. "AB 484 eliminates outdated tests, ensures accountability and allows students to transition to the new assessments. Educators must also have the professional development and resources needed to align curriculum and instruction with the new standards."
Field tests of the Smarter Balanced Assessments will be given in 2014 and are expected to reveal how prepared schools are to administer the new assessments and how students respond. The tests will be given to students in English Language Arts and Mathematics in grades 3-8 and grade 10. AB 484 lifts the state requirement of testing second graders, which was never required under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
Because the transition will leave a lack of comparable data, AB 484 authorizes the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction to suspend the Academic Performance Index (API) for the first two years of the assessment, 2013-14 and 2014-15. The bill also restricts the use of data from field tests for development purposes only.
This is California doing the implementation of Common Core and required assessments correctly and over the objections of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. There will be no high stakes testing until the new standards are in place, until educators have had the opportunity and support to teach them and until students have had the chance to learn them.
AB 484 Timeline:
2013-14: Field testing of computer-based SBAC tests. CSTs not administered in 2014!
2014-15: Full implementation of SBAC in all districts. Paper testing will be administered for
those not quite ready.
2015-16: SBAC assessment results set the new Academic Performance Index (API) base.
2016-17: SBAC assessment results used to calculate API growth targets.
Learn more about the bill by reading the fact sheet and see where CTA stands with these talking points. Also, contact the governor and urge him to sign AB 484.