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The end is near for the California STAR Testing Program

California education officials are committed to implementing the Common Core State Standards. They believe so strongly in the impact the CCSS could have on K-12 instruction that they are ready to abandon the California STAR Testing Program, which was designed long before the Common Core existed.

"It's time for a clean break from assessments that are out of date and out of sync with the work our schools are doing to shift to the Common Core and help students meet the challenges of a changing world," said Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction, in a California Department of Education press release. "It's simply wrong to expect schools to prepare our students for the future while continuing to ask them to use tests that are products of the past."

The Department would like to see more students participate in field testing of new assessments that are delivered via computers and aligned with the CCSS. Assembly Bill 484, which is sponsored by Torlakson, calls for the suspension of most STAR tests while pupils field test the new assessments in the spring of 2014.

While taking the new tests will certainly be a change of pace for students who are used to the STAR assessments, the change is essential if California schools are to provide students with deeper learning opportunities.