California education officials recently decided the state’s students will only be required to take only one standardized test in science this year—a test designed by California.
This decision was contrary to a written directive by the U.S. Department of Education in September, which advised state officials that California must continue to administer the older science exams based on standards adopted in 1998, and publish the scores on those tests.
However, California adopted new science standards in 2013, and state educators planned to administer a pilot version of a new online test aligned with those standards this spring. The state requested an official waiver from federal officials to do so but its request was denied.
In lieu of this denial, the California Department of Education’s Assessment Development and Administration Division determined the state will continue to move forward with its plans to replace the old federal test with the California pilot test this spring. The pilot science test will be administered to students in the 5th and 8th grades along with one high school grade this school year.