California Gov. Jerry Brown has taken a big step towards reducing the testing mania in the nation's most populous state.
Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing to suspend funding for CALPADS, the state student longitudinal data system, and to stop further planning for CALTIDES, the teacher data base that was to be joined at the hip with CALPADS.
‘A number of problems have been identified with California’s state testing, data collection and accountability regime. Testing takes huge amounts of time from classroom instruction. Data collection requirements are cumbersome and do not provide timely - and therefore usable - information back to schools. Teachers are forced to cub their own creativity and engagement with students as they focus on teaching to the test. State and federal administrators continue to centralize teaching authority far from the classroom.
The (Brown) Administration proposes to deal with these issues by carefully reforming testing and accountability requirements to achieve genuine accountability and maximum local autonomy. It will engage teachers, scholars, school administrators and parents to develop proposals to
(1) reduce the amount of time devoted to state testing in schools;
(2) eliminate data collections that do not provide useful information to school administrators, teachers and parents; and
(3) restore power to school administrators, teachers and parents.
The goal is to improve the learning environment in every classroom, thereby encouraging the demanding pursuit of excellence. The May Revision proposes to suspend funding for CALPADS in 2011-12 pending this continued review of data collection requirements.’