Emergency Regulations Adopted to Amend Standardized Testing Process

Lozano Smith Client News Brief
February 2014
Number 11

With the adoption of the Common Core State Standards (Common Core), the California Legislature has begun revising the way students take the standardized testing that measures California school districts' academic achievement. The new program, the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), will permanently replace the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) testing in the 2014-2015 school year. The new assessments, the Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress (MAPP), will be "field tested" in spring 2014.

The State Board of Education has adopted emergency regulations regarding the CAASPP. At the heart of the new assessment process is the adoption of the Smarter Balanced testing, which uses computer-based assessments aligned to the Common Core requiring students to analyze and solve problems. This is a change from STAR testing, which was criticized for only requiring students to perform rote memorization of facts. Due to insufficient time for permanent regulations to be enacted in time for CAASPP testing in spring 2014, and to meet statutory deadlines, the initial regulations needed to be adopted as emergency regulations. The emergency regulations will be followed by the adoption of permanent regulations over the next several months.

These regulations revise the definitions, requirements, responsibilities and guidelines for the administration, test security, reporting and apportionment related to the new CAASPP and will have an immediate impact on this spring's field testing of standardized testing ("the test of the test").

The emergency regulations include:
  • Removing references to STAR and former STAR statutory requirements and adding references to CAASPP and CAASPP statutory requirements;

  • Revising definitions, such as accommodations;

  • Specifying allowable variances in both paper-pencil and computer-based testing by listing acceptable accommodations, designated supports and universal tools;

  • Revising testing periods; and

  • Making changes to the responsibilities and duties of testing coordinators at both the local educational agency and test site levels.

For further information regarding the new emergency regulations, please feel free to contact one of our eight offices located statewide. You can also visit our website, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or download our Client News Brief App.

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As the information contained herein is necessarily general, its application to a particular set of facts and circumstances may vary. For this reason, this News Brief does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you consult with your counsel prior to acting on the information contained herein.