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Standardized Tests

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 3, 2013 | By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
In Texas, more than 10,000 people joined a recent rally to protest it. In Seattle, high school teachers launched a boycott over it. And in Los Angeles, school board candidates are arguing over it - a debate considered so crucial to the future of education reform that outside donors have poured millions into the campaigns. The growing use of standardized tests to assess students and teachers is sparking a push-back nationwide in what has become one of the greatest divides in educational policy.
ARTICLES BY DATE
SPORTS
April 20, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 The Los Angeles Student-Athlete Symposium for boys' and girls' high school athletes grades 9 through 12 will be held on May 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Loyola Marymount's University Hall. Cost is $30, and lunch will be included. The organizers will provide workshops and information about sports nutrition, college recruiting timelines, transitioning into college, standardized tests (SAT and ACT)  and other issues. The symposium reviews the complicated process of becoming a student-athlete in college.
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OPINION
July 11, 1999
Re "Tests Fail the Grade," editorial, July 4: In your opinion, "As California demands more from students and teachers, results from standardized tests must be . . . absolutely trustworthy." If you wish standardized tests to be "absolutely trustworthy" you do not understand the nature of standardized tests or accurate procedures for evaluation of student achievement. Standardized tests are a "snapshot." They are one kind of evaluation of a student on a given day. According to Grant Wiggins, a specialist in student evaluation, Stanford 9-type tests have an error factor of 60 points: Students given the identical test on different days could yield scores within a 60-point range.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 16, 2013 | By Anthony York
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - Gov. Jerry Brown blasted the notion of government-imposed standards for public schools, saying he opposed efforts from Washington and Sacramento to dictate education policy. Using "data on a national or state level I think misses the point - that learning is very individual, very personal," Brown said during an on-stage interview Monday with the Atlantic magazine's James Bennet at the Computer History Museum. "It comes back to the teacher and the principal.
OPINION
June 6, 2011
Tweet stuff Re "Twitter photo drama hounds congressman from New York," June 2 Step away from the keyboard! Imagine how much more work everyone (including New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner) would accomplish, how many real relationships would be developed and maintained, if everyone wouldn't be addicted to the false notion that they are the center of the universe and everyone really wants to know what they're having for lunch or that they need to spew every thought without really having thought about it. This goes for emails, instant messages and — the latest waste of time and savager of reputation — Twitter.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 10, 2013
California lawmakers pushed ahead Tuesday with a new state testing plan despite a threat by the Obama administration to withhold federal education funds unless substantial changes are made. The state Senate approved an overhaul of standardized exams by a 25-7 vote, with Democrats overwhelmingly in support. The Assembly is expected to take up the bill later this week. The potential stakes in a standoff between the state of California and the U.S. Department of Education are high.
NEWS
October 22, 1992 | Emily Adams, Times community correspondent
The Compton Unified School District recently came under criticism from state officials, in part because its students have ranked low on standardized tests. How accurate are standardized tests at measuring student achievement, and are they the best method to measure students' success at learning in school? Kelvin Filer, Board member , Compton Unified School District "I don't think that standardized tests are a good tool to use for measuring a student's capabilities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 2013 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
The proliferation of cellphones and their potential use for cheating has prompted heightened security measures on this year's administration of standardized tests in California schools. The chief concern is that students will take pictures of test items and post them on social media sites, which occurred last year. In response, many schools have begun collecting cellphones from students during testing periods. At the state level, there are checks of social media sites "every 15 minutes" by a team from the state education department and the national Education Testing Service, officials said.
OPINION
June 6, 2002
Re "Value of Standardized Tests," editorial, May 31: In order to generate the comparisons in student performance that you claim are indispensable for judging educational quality, standardized test-makers need to create differences among student scores. If test-makers included only items measuring the most important content emphasized by teachers, scores might be too similar, making comparisons unsatisfactory. To engineer score spread, test-makers build into standardized tests items assessing content that is highly unlikely to be taught in class.
NEWS
May 23, 1990 | From Times Wire Services
Simple justice and workplace realities demand that American schools and employers stop relying on flawed standardized tests to decide who gets ahead, a private commission said today. Low test scores should "never stigmatize an individual as a failure or permanently restrict the individual's life choices," the Ford Foundation's National Commission on Testing and Public Policy said in a report.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 4, 2013 | By Howard Blume
Keyboards will be necessary for Los Angeles students to take new state standardized tests on iPads, an additional cost in the $1-billion effort to provide tablets in the nation's second-largest school system, The Times has learned. In the past, L.A. Unified School District officials said that keyboards were not required and they removed them from specifications for an initial contract that went to Apple, maker of the iPad. Eventually, Apple is expected to receive about $500 million from L.A. Unified for the tablets.
OPINION
September 16, 2013 | By The Times Editorial board
When it comes to education policy, California and the Obama administration have gotten along about as well as the Clantons and the Earp brothers. They've clashed over teacher evaluations, Race to the Top grants, you name it. Now, the switch to the new Common Core curriculum could prove to be their O.K. Corral. The Legislature has passed a bill, AB 484, that would retire the state's existing standards tests this school year and replace them with a limited version of the very different tests linked to the new curriculum, which emphasizes critical thinking over rote memorization.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 10, 2013
California lawmakers pushed ahead Tuesday with a new state testing plan despite a threat by the Obama administration to withhold federal education funds unless substantial changes are made. The state Senate approved an overhaul of standardized exams by a 25-7 vote, with Democrats overwhelmingly in support. The Assembly is expected to take up the bill later this week. The potential stakes in a standoff between the state of California and the U.S. Department of Education are high.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 8, 2013 | By Howard Blume
A fissure has emerged in widespread support for legislation that would speed up the overhaul of the state standardized testing system: L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy has withdrawn his support. Deasy was initially included in pronouncements about the deal as a key backer and as evidence that the plan enjoyed endorsement across the ideological spectrum. The superintendent, for example, has often been at odds with teachers unions, but not on this issue. The legislation would drop the standardized exams used since 1999 and replace them with a computerized system next spring.
OPINION
September 8, 2013 | By The Times Editorial Board
A proposed bill to overhaul California's standardized school testing system includes some provisions that are bold and forward-looking. After all, there is no point in continuing with the old tests of student progress in English and math this year when teachers are supposed to be preparing for the switch to the new Common Core curriculum in the 2014-15 school year. But in other ways, AB 484 is a step backward. The complicated bill, pushed by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and authored by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla (D-Concord)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 10, 2013 | By Stephen Ceasar
California education officials have identified 242 schools statewide where students posted standardized-test-related images on social-networking sites - 16 of which included exam questions or answers that could be deemed cheating violations. Hundreds of photos turned up online this year during the administration of the Standardized Testing and Reporting exams, which make up most of the school's state rating on the Academic Performance Index. Test scores were released Thursday.
NEWS
October 29, 1989 | From Associated Press
Teachers union leader Albert Shanker called Saturday for an immediate end to multiple-choice standardized achievement testing, saying the results are misleading and may even be hindering school reform.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 2013 | By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
A plan to suspend California's standardized testing for certain grades while new computerized exams are developed could save $15 million, the state's top education official said. State Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson recommended to the state Board of Education last week that the savings be used instead to develop higher-quality tests linked to new uniform but voluntary academic standards. They have been adopted by 45 states, including California, which plans to roll them out in the 2014-15 school year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 2013 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
The proliferation of cellphones and their potential use for cheating has prompted heightened security measures on this year's administration of standardized tests in California schools. The chief concern is that students will take pictures of test items and post them on social media sites, which occurred last year. In response, many schools have begun collecting cellphones from students during testing periods. At the state level, there are checks of social media sites "every 15 minutes" by a team from the state education department and the national Education Testing Service, officials said.
OPINION
April 11, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
A recent op-ed article in the Washington Post warned against overusing students' standardized test scores in evaluating how well teachers are doing their jobs. There would be no surprise about that - if it had been penned by the leader of a teachers union. But it was written by Bill Gates, arguably the most influential voice over the last few years in pushing for the use of test scores to rate teachers. Gates' warning was based on a study released in January that his foundation funded.
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