California State schools superintendent Tom Torlakson wants to revamp statewide standardized testing; instead of memorization driven, multiple-choice bubble exams, the proposed tests would assess critical thinking, problem solving, and essay writing skills.
Torlakson said the new test would be implemented in the 2014-15 school year at the same time as the state adopts national Common Core curriculum and phases out the current STAR testing program.
“We’ve been asking our kids to master new skills and so the assessments must change, too,” said Torlakson.
It will take more than a year to implement, so Torlakson is recommending suspending most tests not required by the federal government starting next year. This would put a moratorium on STAR testing of second graders and end-of-course-exams at the state level.