September 10, 2013
California Education Leaders Voice
Support for Assessment Overhaul Legislation
SACRAMENTO—California's education leaders are lending their support to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson's sponsored legislation that will accelerate the entrance of the state's testing program into the computer age.
Torlakson sent words of appreciation today to San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Randolph Ward, Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser, and Wesley Smith, Executive Director of the Association of California School Administrators, for their support of Assembly Bill 484, which is currently before the state Senate.
Wesley Smith: "AB 484 is supported by thousands of California superintendents and principals because it helps ensure a smooth transition for students and schools to Common Core State Standards. It just makes sense to give schools and teachers the opportunity to fully implement our recently adopted standards rather than focus on the California Standards Tests, which are not aligned to the instruction we are implementing in our classrooms. We urge lawmakers to approve AB 484 because it allows our students, teachers, and school communities to focus on what matters to them now."
Randolph Ward: "AB 484 will allow us to prepare our students and staff for success rather than set them up for frustration. To do otherwise—to maintain two testing systems each of which requires very different instructional techniques and looks at very different skills—will result in a schizophrenic environment in our schools that isn't in anyone's best interest. Suspending the STAR tests and expanding field testing of new assessments allows time for educational leaders to prepare students for a completely different manner of demonstrating knowledge while ensuring districts have the means to provide accountability to the public."
Christopher Steinhauser: "The Long Beach Unified School District supports AB 484 because we plan to administer Smarter Balanced assessments in grades three through eight and eleven this school year, giving teachers the opportunity to fine-tune their practice relative to this new assessment environment. This approach also provides students the chance to experience the new tests before the results are used for accountability purposes."
# # # #
Tom Torlakson —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100