Contact: Sandra Jackson, (916) 801-4776 (cell)
Burlingame – Troubled by the State Board of Education’s (SBE) action earlier this summer mandating that all eighth-graders take an Algebra 1 assessment test, whether or not they have taken an algebra course, the California Teachers Association has joined the California School Boards Association (CSBA) and the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) in seeking a preliminary injunction halting the SBE’s action.
CTA believes the State Board of Education did not properly notify the public that it was reversing its prior decision earlier this year to develop a “Revised Mathematics” examination for eighth-graders and that it overstepped its authority in designating Algebra 1 as the sole eighth-grade math assessment because it is not aligned with existing content standards.
“The State Board of Education acted abruptly, imprudently and without fully understanding the consequences of its actions on our schools, teachers and students,” said David A. Sanchez, president of the 340,000-member CTA. “For our schools to begin now to prepare all eighth graders to take the Algebra 1 exam, they must immediately hire about 3,000 more teachers and properly train about a thousand more who are either underprepared or teaching in another field. And this is at a time when the governor is proposing to cut another $2.5 billion on top of the $3.5 billion that has already been cut from schools this year.”
“The State Board’s action to force all eighth-grade students to take a standardized algebra test is another one-size-fits-all approach that will punish students and public schools. It is never fair to force students to be tested on information they have not been taught,” continued Sanchez. “This ruling by the SBE was a step backward for California’s standards and accountability system and another example of the No Child Left Behind Act and the federal government dictating to California how to teach our students.”
California has some of the highest academic standards in the country, and our state has been working hard to ensure that our instructional materials, textbooks, assessments and teacher readiness are all aligned with those standards.
CTA strongly supports academic standards and achievement for all students. CTA believes that both standards and assessments must be appropriate for students at each grade level and in each subject. CTA also believes that students must have appropriately trained teachers and the necessary textbooks and instructional materials to help them learn.
“The State Board’s failure to support any additional resources to meet this requirement while forcing these huge educational changes on California schools when public education is facing billions in state budget cuts is a recipe for failure that will undermine the progress that our students have been making. Hopefully, this lawsuit will make a difference for our schools and our students,” Sanchez said.