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State Schools Official Criticizes Testing Plan

January 22, 1998

The president of the state Board of Education on Wednesday sharply criticized President Clinton's proposal for national standardized tests, telling a congressional committee that states and school districts are best suited to assess academic achievement.

Echoing the concerns raised by an array of critics, Yvonne Larsen told the Committee on Education and the Workforce in Granada Hills that the testing proposal represented a federal intrusion into a local issue.

"For the record, I want to make it clear that the state of California has not endorsed President Clinton's plan for national testing," Larsen told the committee at Frost Middle School, in a reference to state Supt. of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin's support for the idea.

Clinton's proposal, unveiled a year ago during his State of the Union address, calls for testing all fourth-graders in reading and eighth-graders in math. It has drawn opposition from an unlikely coalition of conservative and liberal lawmakers. Congressional leaders managed to thwart the plan last year, and a compromise with the White House has placed the program on hold until later this year at the earliest.

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