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Testing and Standards


 Read CTA's Policy Brief on Assessment and Testing

Contrary to claims by the testing industry, teachers and parents support testing - as long as the testing is fair and in alignment with the state standards and with what is being taught in the classroom. For many years, students have been tested in subjects not yet taught in class; English-language learners are expected to take tests in English; and, Special Education students are subjected to the same tests as students in regular classrooms.

As a result, when standardized tests are administered or are about to take place in California, many parents reach out to teachers with questions about these tests and ask if they can opt out of the testing for their child. California is one of handful of states that has a law allowing all parents to opt out of state-mandated standardized testing. At the same time there are also California regulations governing what educators can say to parents and families. CTA has put together a number of resources to help educators have these conversations.

To help you make sense and make better use of the current standards-based reform movement, the information listed below cites latest information and provides some background on efforts to improve schools by using tests. It also provides information that can be used in the classroom immediately to improve instruction in a standards-based and test-driven educational system.

Ultimately, you are the expert. You are in the best position to judge how to link standards with instruction and testing to benefit your students. This resource should help you discover how to do that.

Note: The California Code of Regulations prohibits any program of specific preparation for the statewide pupil assessment program or a particular test used therein. Test release questions should not be used to develop practice tests that would mimic or parallel state tests, nor should they be used for teaching or drilling students only on the released items.
-- Title 5, Section 854 (a.) based on California Education Code, Section 60611.

Every child deserves a chance to learn and no child succeeds alone.

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