State orders later date for standardized test

The Associated Press
Saturday November 11, 2000

SACRAMENTO — The state Board of Education has adopted new regulations that will require schools to give the Stanford 9 standardized test later in the school year to give students more time to prepare. 

The change could be problematic for many districts, which will be forced to rearrange schedules and find new test dates for other tests, such as the Golden State exams.  

The shift also likely will delay the release of statewide scores on the Stanford Achievement Test, 9th Edition, which currently is the only component in the state’s school accountability program. 

The board’s decision will give students an additional 18 days of class time before they take the basic skills exam.  

The new rules call for students to be in school 153 days, plus or minus 10 days, before taking the tests.  

Students previously had to be in school for about 135 days, which created a testing window that ran from mid-March to mid-May on traditional school calendars. 

It is unclear how the change will affect Los Angeles Unified and other school districts that operate year-round schools. 

The test scores are tightly linked to the Academic Performance Index, the cornerstone in an education reform effort spearheaded by Gov. Gray Davis.  

The APIs, which rank all the public schools in the state, are based solely on the standardized Stanford 9 test, but increasingly will take into account standards set by the state in English-language arts, math, history and science.  

The Stanford 9 test was given last spring to 4.4 million public school students in second through 11th grades.  

It was the second year California students took that test. 

State officials said they changed the test date to give students more time to cover the material before they took the tests. 

The new rules also narrow the testing window from 60 days to 20, so students will be exposed to the same amount of material regardless of the school they attend. 

The tests are high-stake exams for schools as well as students, since the state uses the results to reward successful schools and identify low-performing schools.