Standardized Testing Waived in Wake of School Closures

The Smarter Balanced tests help measure student growth from year to year


School closures are forcing change at many levels. California is now waiving state standardized testing for this school year. The data from the testing are important because they help schools and districts look at how students are progressing, how they compare with other schools and districts across the state.

Math and English Language Arts tests usually are taken in grades three through eight. The California Science test is taken once in elementary, middle, and high school.

Steve Green is the Senior Director of Assessment, Accountability, and Evaluation for the San Diego County Office of Education. He gave an example of how the data could be helpful.

“We can see where there are gaps in student performance across the county, for example, we can design professional learning opportunities and say, 'oh it looks like students are struggling potentially with writing, so how might we support our local districts by providing professional learning and writing?'”Green said.

The California department of education said stress was a factor in waiving the tests as well as the validity of the testing at this point with students missing so much school.

But Green reminds people the so-called "Smarter Balanced" tests are only one measure. Teachers are constantly monitoring, grading and testing students.

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