California Committed to Move Forward with Common Core Tests As Planned

Last week, Education Week reported that nearly all of the key education officials in 40 states responding to a survey said they saw little likelihood that the Common Core standards in their states would be “reversed, limited or changed in some way” in the coming school year. The assessments, however, appear more vulnerable.

California is not one of the doubters. The Legislature appears poised to pass legislation this month reaffirming the start of student testing aligned to the Common Core standards in spring 2015. The inclusion of $1.25 billion in the state budget for districts to prepare for the new standards has added momentum for moving ahead.

Opponents have objected to projected costs of the assessments: between $22.50 and$29.95 per student. Many states, including California, are paying a lot less now for paper-and-pencil multiple-choice tests.  The cost of the tests, California’s first designed to be taken by computer, does not include the hardware and bandwidth required to meet requirements; those are the school districts’ responsibility.  Then there is the biggest variable: the cost to score the complex questions on the exam that can’t be graded by computer – those requiring students to show their work in math, write essays or brief answers, and perform multi-step problems.


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