Students in California’s public schools no longer have to take the annual STAR test.
Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation on Tuesday that upgrades the state’s educational standards with the aid of modern technology.
AB484, authored by Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord), facilitates the creation of a roadmap that will enable educators to determine how much knowledge students are absorbing and adjust their lesson plans accordingly.
"This is one of the most important and revolutionary changes to education policy, and California is the right state to lead the way," Bonilla said in a statement.
"With this new law, our schools can move away from outdated STAR tests and prepare students and teachers for better assessments that reflect the real world knowledge needed for young people to succeed in college and careers,” she added.
The bill creates a new system called the Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress, which sets new learning targets for educators to reach based on grade levels.
A major difference in the new system is that schools will test students with an adaptive exam that is similar to the GRE test and conducted on a computer. When a student answers a question, the program will increase or decrease the difficulty level of the test to more accurately assess the student’s grasp of a concept.
Since 2010, 45 out of 50 states have adopted the Common Core Standards, which essentially streamline expectations for students and educators.
The legislation says that the new MAPP will “enable pupils to learn about their readiness for college-level English and mathematics before their senior year of high school.” One of the endeavor's implicit goals is for students in public schools to obtain skills necessary to be competitive in a 21st century job market, such as the ability to interact with computers.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson applauded the endeavor on Thursday.
"Faced with the choice of preparing California's children for the future or continuing to cling to outdated policies of the past, our state's leaders worked together and made the right choice for our students," Torlakson said. "These new assessments represent a challenge for our education system—but a lifetime of opportunity for students. As a teacher, I'm thrilled to see our state and our schools once again leading the way."
The impact this will have on a school's Academic Performance Index score is being assessed.
RCSD has already begun the transition to ensuring that students are learning the Common Core State Standards. Some Common Core standards were incorporated into classroom instruction during 2012-13, and in 2013-14, kindergarten through 2nd grade teachers will teach the Common Core standards. RCSD plans to fully implement the Common Core at all grade levels in 2014-15.
RCSD Common Core Presentation (May 13, 2013)(Español)
How can you support your student at home? If you would like to learn more about the Common Core State Standards and how you can support your student at home, below are some additional resources that may be helpful: California Department of Education
San Mateo County Office of Education
Common Core State Standards (home)
Council of Great City Schools How will students be assessed? Students in California will take the Smarter Balanced Assessment, currently scheduled to begin in May, 2015. You can find more information on the Smarter Balanced Assessment and view sample test questions at:http://www.smarterbalanced.org/