Sunday, December 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

State aims to test students’ critical thinking

By
From page A2 | January 09, 2013 |

By Christina Hoag

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s students may be filling in fewer bubbles on multiple-choice standardized tests in the future and writing longer answers instead.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson unveiled a set of proposals Tuesday to rewrite the state’s battery of standardized tests that students take every spring to measure achievement in English-language arts and math, readiness to graduate from high-school, and subjects such as science.

“Multiple-choice, fill-in-the-bubble tests alone simply cannot do the job anymore, and it’s time for California to move forward with assessments that measure the real-world skills our students need to be ready for a career and for college,” Torlakson said.

Instead of multiple-choice bubbles, the new tests will emphasize critical thinking and problem-solving skills and require deeper, more extended responses, he said. The new exams will be largely administered and scored by computer, but some will require scoring by hand.

Torlakson’s report will be submitted to the state Legislature, which must approve the new design and issue guidelines before education officials can start rewriting the tests. The new exams are slated to debut in the 2014-15 school year.

The report, which contains 12 recommendations, is the culmination of a yearlong project that lawmakers ordered last year as school districts phase in national curriculum standards, known as Common Core State Standards. The new curriculum aims to develop students’ analytical skills over rote memorization and involves developing new assessment methods to measure those skills.

A task force met around the state for six months last year and presented a series of recommendations to Torlakson last fall.

David Ratray, president of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, said the new direction of testing is promising.

“Employers are looking for problem-solving, a deeper understanding of knowledge to put it to work,” Ratray said. “What works for students, works for business.”

Testing results are used largely to judge how well schools are doing their job and are a key factor in a school’s so-called “academic performance index,” a ranking that enables parents and the community to easily compare schools.

Deputy Superintendent Deborah Sigmund said that the computerized system also will speed up delivery of results with the goal of getting them to teachers so they can see where students need extra help while they are still in school. Currently, test results are delivered in mid- to late summer.

Sigmund also said that by emphasizing more creative, thinking responses on tests, teachers will gain more latitude in their curriculums instead of merely “teaching to the test.”

“This will give teachers their autonomy back,” she said.

Torlakson said some standardized tests will be suspended next year as the new tests are introduced. Those include second-grade tests and end-of-year finals in non-core subjects in high schools.

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    What’s new at UCD? Construction projects abound

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    No-nonsense Musser voted Citizen of the Year

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Sharing a meal, and so much more

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Brinley Plaque honors environmental stalwart

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    North Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    AP sources: Cops’ killer angry over Garner death

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Raul Castro: Don’t expect detente to change Cuban system

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Police seek help in finding runaway twin girls

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Downtown crash results in DUI arrest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    March trial date set in Davis molest case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Donors, volunteers honored on Philanthropy Day

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Enterprise plans Christmas, New Year’s holiday hours

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Luminaria display planned in West Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Soup’s On will benefit NAMI-Yolo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Supplies collected for victims of abuse

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Surprise honor is really nice, dude

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Konditorei presents free holiday concert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    .

    Forum

    Google me this: Should I hit that button?

    By Marion Franck | From Page: B4

     
    E-cigs surpass regular cigarettes among teens

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    It’s not a pretty picture

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B4

    Too late to pick a fight

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    All police need to humanize

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Are we only a fair-weather bike city?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Join us in making our world more just

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    The electronic equivalent of war

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    The Green House effect: Homes where the elderly thrive

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

    .

    Sports

     
    Stenz shines as DHS girls take a tournament title

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggie Manzanares not quite finished carrying the rock

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD women look to improve, despite game at No. 7 Stanford

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Second-half run spurs Aggie men to 8-1

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    49ers fall to San Diego in overtime

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Marrone Bio expands its product reach in Latin America

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Sierra Northern Railway names CEO

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Sink your teeth into Vampire Penguin

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, December 21, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8