So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

Schools: Federal officials still don't sign off on California testing changes

US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sp

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan speaks about student loan interest rates during the Daily Press Briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC, April 20, 2012. US President Barack Obama, with his administration, is urging the US Congress to step in and stop interest rates on federal student loans from doubling to 6.4 percent on July 1, 2012. For each year that Congress allows the rate to double, the White House said, the average student with these loans racks up an additional 1,000 USD in debt. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Two weeks after the California Dept. of Education announced it was changing next year's standardized tests, there's still no word from the U.S. Department of Education as to whether the changes will resolve tensions between the two agencies.

"The Department of Education continues to have conversations with California officials on student assessments," spokesman Cameron French wrote in an email, "once the request is received, we will review the application as we would any state and respond accordingly."

Education Secretary Arne Duncan had threatened to withhold billions of dollars in federal funds after California said it would test students in either English or math — but not both — this school year. The state also said it would withhold test scores because the new computerized tests, aligned with new learning standards called the Common Core, are still in development.

Federal accountability rules require students be tested in both subjects in certain grades — and that the results be public.

After weeks of negotiation, the California Department of Education decided to offer both tests — sort of. Students will get half of each test, officials said, which will save money.

"I think it’s a very good compromise," said State Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla "I think it’s something that’s going to serve the students and children here in California very well. And I think it answers the concerns."

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