Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Less Testing in Cali—In Your Dreams

John Fensterwald reported today on his blog TopEd that California Gov. Jerry Brown wants to suspend funding for CALPADS, the state student longitudinal data system, and to stop further planning for CALTIDES, the teacher data base associated with CALPADS. In a superficial nod to his benefactors in the California Teachers Association, Brown has expressed disapproval of the overuse of data collection and standardized testing.

However, Brown has not proposed abolishing testing or data collection. Noncompliance with NCLB, alone, would save the state $500 million per year—a pretty smart move at a time when the state is struggling to balance its budget and find enough revenue to keep teachers in the classrooms. On the contrary, Brown wants to reform testing and accountability to make them “genuine” and to “restore power to school administrators, teachers and parents.” Fensterwald correctly added “whatever that means,” to Brown’s quote, highlighting his vagueness and the potential for a continuation of the status quo.

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