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Standardized Tests

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 18, 2011
The following school districts submitted irregularity reports to the California Education Department in 2011. Mistakes or misconduct by adults led to the invalidation of a school's test scores in these school systems. Each report is linked from the name of the school district. Chula Vista Elementary Desert Sands Unified Elk Grove Unified Fresno Unified Hacienda La Puente Unified Hesperia Unified (Pathways to College charter school)
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 15, 2011 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
Parents at a high-performing Los Angeles school called this week for the reinstatement of teachers who were removed from their classes for allegedly cheating on state standardized tests. An initial investigation in May concluded that one second-grade teacher and two third-grade teachers at Short Avenue Elementary either coached students improperly, changed incorrect answers on tests or both. Last month, when officials released school scores for the Academic Performance Index — the state's primary yardstick for evaluating schools — Short Avenue in Del Rey was denied a score.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 1, 2011 | By Jason Song, Los Angeles Times
More campuses in the Los Angeles school system are reaching state academic goals, but the district is still failing to meet important federal targets, according to data released Wednesday by the state Department of Education. The district scored a 728 last year on the Academic Performance Index, which measures improvement on a 1,000-point scale based on factors such as standardized tests. That represents a 19-point jump for the nation's second-largest district over the previous year.
OPINION
August 3, 2011
Students don't generally like tests, and a certain number of them cheat. Yet it's a rare educator who would advocate eliminating tests or not including them in a student's grade. Why, then, does each new scandal involving cheating teachers and administrators lead to a fresh round of calls to eliminate tests or at minimum not make them count for anything? In the last few months, teachers or administrators in different parts of the country have been caught cheating. Locally, two Crescendo charter schools were shut down in July by the Los Angeles Unified School District, and the four others face possible closure, after students were shown the test questions for upcoming state standardized tests.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 11, 2011 | By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
Even as the annual state testing season bore down on her this spring, fourth-grade teacher Jin Yi barely bothered with test prep materials. The Hobart Boulevard Elementary School teacher used to spend weeks with practice tests but found they bored her students. Instead, she engages them with hands-on lessons, such as measuring their arms and comparing that data to solve above-grade-level subtraction problems. "I used to spend time on test prep because I felt pressured to do it," said Yi, who attended Hobart in Koreatown herself and returned a decade ago to teach.
OPINION
June 13, 2011
Giving raises to teachers who take additional college coursework is a waste of money. Studies have confirmed that taking extra classes has no effect on teachers' instructional skills. Yet in the Los Angeles Unified School District alone, pay raises awarded for such courses, which don't even have to be related to the subject the teacher teaches, cost more than $500 million a year. That money could be used for a thousand more useful purposes, such as hiring more faculty or raising the salaries of great teachers.
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.
OPINION
May 29, 2011
The GOP's guy? Re "Run, Ryan, run," Opinion, May 24 What a brilliant idea to draft Wisconsin Rep. Paul D. Ryan for the Republican nomination for president. After all, he is responsible for this nonsense about privatizing Medicare to save it. He's like his fellow Republicans, who argue that our national debt demands it while they continue to add to the debt with tax breaks for oil companies and the wealthy. Meanwhile, the middle class will be hit with more taxes as the budget crisis is passed on to state and local governments.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 24, 2011 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
High schools are offering a new deal at 39 Los Angeles campuses: Students who raise their scores on the state's standardized tests will be rewarded with higher grades in their classes. If it works, schools also will benefit because low scores can lead to teachers and administrators being fired and schools being closed. A proposed teacher evaluation system relies specifically on these tests for part of an instructor's rating. Even the new superintendent's salary, and his tenure, are tied to scores on the California Standards Tests, which are administered this month.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 4, 2011 | By Jason Song, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles school district will hold a shortened day of classes on May 13 to accommodate a planned teachers union protest without interrupting standardized testing on most campuses. Dismissal time will vary from school to school but could be up to several hours earlier than normal. Schools will be required to make up the lost time from the shortened day later in the year, according to Los Angeles Unified School District officials. The teachers' demonstration is aimed at encouraging state legislators to place tax extensions on the fall ballot to provide continued funding to school districts.
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