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

Feedback: Here's what you think about the state's changes to standardized tests

An empty classroom

BES Photos/Flickr (cc by-nc-nd)

State school officials say standardized tests as we know them — the multiple choice kind that require Scantron forms and No. 2 pencils — are not working for teachers or students. 

What we need,  California Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson said last week, is to  move away from memorization-driven tests.  He's proposing an assessment exam that draws on analytical skills, problem solving, and writing, which are in line with the Common Core curriculum set to debut in 2015.

We asked you for your thoughts on Torlakson's recommendations, which include a moratorium on all state testing next school year, making kids subject only to federally mandated exams. He said that would give teachers, students and administrators “breathing room” to transition to the new curriculum.

In response to our questions, many of you said students are not receiving a balanced education because teachers devote too much time classroom time teaching to the test.


Students post several hundred images of state tests on social media networks

Mercer 15534

Rogers Herr Middle School

Standarized test scantron answer sheet

Students have posted several hundred images of this year's state tests online on social networking sites including Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, California Department of Education officials said today.

The California Department of Education learned about the testing security breach within the last 24 hours after a district notified them that a student was seen taking a photo of an exam with their cell phone, said department spokesman Paul Hefner.

Schools across the state are currently in their annual testing season (which spans several months) for the STAR, or Standardized Testing and Reporting Program, and California High School Exit Examination.

The department has asked the website operators to remove the pictures of these tests, and notified all school districts statewide as well as testing coordinators today to "be extra vigilant" in following security protocols, Hefner said.