Credit: Alison Yin/EdSource

In a significant departure, the California Department of Education is withholding the release of the results of the Smarter Balanced tests that students took last spring until an undetermined date later this year. The result will be a monthslong delay before the public can view results in English language arts, math and science for the state, districts, schools and charter schools.

The denial of EdSource’s request to release test score data comes at a time when educators are concerned about the pandemic’s impact on reading and math progress, especially in the early years. Releasing scores “later this year” means that the public will learn about spring test results for third-graders who are now well into fourth grade.

The California Department of Education told EdSource that it is withholding the scores now, so they can be simultaneously released with other data for the California School Dashboard, such as student absentee rates, suspension rates and rates of chronic absenteeism. The dashboard provides a detailed look at school and district metrics, broken down by student demographic groups. The data is used to determine which low-performing districts require state assistance.

The state has not said when it plans to release the updated dashboard, but if it is released after Nov. 8, the Smarter Balanced results won’t surface as an election year issue – both for local school board races and for State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, who runs the California Department of Education and is facing re-election this year. Thurmond did not comment on the test scores release date. That updated dashboard has been released between November and January in past years. 

Mary Nicely, chief deputy state superintendent for instruction, said that the state board set the goal in 2017 for a comprehensive approach that would include combining the release of state test scores and other metrics with the updated dashboard. “We are on track to release the data as we did last year. If we can come out sooner, we will,” she said. “We are not withholding anything; people are working hard to finalize the data.”

Thurmond opponent Lance Christensen, when notified by EdSource about the state’s refusal to release the scores, said, “The fact that the department is not willing to publish now suggests that scores will be lower and the current state superintendent does not want to be held accountable for the results.” 

The state refused to release the test score results to EdSource despite an Aug. 5 letter to districts, county offices of education and charter schools telling them the results were “not embargoed” and they “are encouraged to use their results for local planning, including public meetings with their local governing board.”  Maria Clayton, director of communications for the California Department of Education, repeated in a Sept. 1 email to EdSource that the results were “not embargoed.” Districts have provided scores of individual students to parents, and several districts, including Los Angeles Unified and Palo Alto Unified, have released their results to the public.

EdSource, through its attorney, sent a letter to Education Department officials Wednesday requesting immediate reversal of that denial.  “EdSource considers delay tantamount to denial as it effectively robs the public of its vital role in overseeing the CDE and individual districts and in holding both accountable to its students and the public. This is especially important during what continues to be one of the most challenging and impactful times to our educational system due to the COVID pandemic,” wrote EdSource attorney Duffy Carolan, of the law firm Jassy Vick Carolan

The five-page legal analysis challenged CDE’s decision to withhold the test scores “…the CDE cannot identify any ‘public’ interest in non-disclosure that could justify its denial position, let alone an interest that ‘clearly outweighs’ the substantial public interest in access to this information.”

Earlier this month, EdSource filed a request under the California Public Records Act, with the California Department of Education for the 2022 results, including the breakdown by student groups. EdSource has annually analyzed the data, so the public can look up a school’s scores and how it compares to other schools. The last full year of results is for the 2018-19 school year.

“The state can’t talk out of both sides of its mouth” by giving districts data that shows their test results and then refusing to release the overall data set, said David Loy, legal director of the First Amendment Coalition, a San Rafael-based open government group.  There are no exemptions in the law that allow the government to withhold records from the public because they are “inconvenient or embarrassing,” he said.

Since California first released Smarter Balanced scores in 2015, the Education Department has consistently released them separately and sooner than the other dashboard data. Dates ranged from the last week in August through the first week in October. The exception was the 2020-21 school year, when results were released in January 2022 with dashboard indicators. Because of the pandemic, districts had a choice of giving local assessments or the Smarter Balanced tests; districts with enrollments totaling fewer than a quarter of the state’s students chose that option and the resulting data was “limited in both scope and use,” the department said in a news release at the time. No test was given in 2019-20 because of the pandemic.

Janet Weeks, director of communications for the State Board of Education, said that the board agreed that the Smarter Balanced results would be released simultaneously with the updated dashboard.

In its Sept. 12 denial, Clayton said the data was not yet ready for release because it “is still undergoing a review and validation process by the CDE and the local educational agencies.” A premature release of statewide results “could mislead researchers, policymakers and the general public” and “thus be detrimental to the public’s interest.”

Especially this year, pushing back disclosure has ramifications. Based on national data, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, and the results of Los Angeles Unified, which did release its 2022 scores this month, the results are expected to show record declines, compared with pre-pandemic 2018-19.  Research has shown that student learning was affected by remote learning followed by a chaotic year under Covid. Districts are getting historic levels of state and federal funding to bridge the gaps.

“Districts are engaged in multiple planning processes right now to determine how to spend investments to improve teacher supports and student learning,” said Christopher Nellum, executive director of Education Trust-West, a student advocacy group. “Delaying this data threatens to hinder engagement as well as the effectiveness of the investments the state has made in recent years, including funds to address impacts of the pandemic.”

 There is an imperative to respond expeditiously, said the Center for Reinventing Public Education in a report issued this month. “The academic, social, and mental-health needs are real, they are measurable, and they must be addressed quickly in order to avoid long-term consequences,” lead authors Robin Lake and Travis Pillow wrote.

 Waiting until later this year to release how students scored last spring will delay needed public discussions on how districts should respond to serious setbacks in learning including shifting funding immediately and next summer to accelerate learning. The timing is especially troubling for educators in early literacy, as the state copes with a reading crisis. Only 48.5% of third-graders tested at grade level or above in English language arts during the 2018-19 school year, before the pandemic stalled all learning.

 Districts have had initial access to their own Smarter Balanced test results since early summer and reliable data since early August. Several superintendents agreed there is value and urgency in sharing both individual districts’ and statewide data, several superintendents agreed.

“As the largest public school district in California, Los Angeles Unified urges the state of California to expedite the full release of test scores annually to inform the community and enable the district to take immediate action to meet the needs of our most vulnerable, at-risk student populations,” said Superintendent Alberto Carvalho when releasing district data on Sept. 9. 

Parents and districts also benefit when they can compare their own scores with statewide and surrounding district and charter school results, said Christensen. “Districts want to get information from other districts — to who is doing what and, seek out best practices,” he said.

Gilbert Magallon, spokesperson for Central Unified School District in Fresno, said comparing results is useful.  We value receiving data on similar districts and seek to learn information that may be beneficial as we strive to improve students’ academic outcomes.”

Palo Alto Unified released partial results of Smarter Balanced results — for third grade English language arts  — in a report to the community on Sept. 9 showing impressive gains for all student groups. The rest of the results will be released this week, said Superintendent Don Austin.

 “Since early literacy was our predetermined goal, it made sense,” Austin said. “Our math scores do not look as strong. We don’t have any context for the scores across the state. Without seeing the scores for everyone, we are guessing if our scores were good, bad or in between.”

Getting scores out as soon as permissible is not only sound policy but, civil liberties lawyers say, is required by the state law governing the release of public documents, the California Public Records Act.  

Since the Aug. 5 letter to districts, the department also has sent contradictory messages, telling districts not to publicly release the scores; a few districts contacted by EdSource have presented them to their boards, and others said they plan to do so in October.

On Sept. 15, EdSource sent a Public Records Act request to the state’s 30 largest districts, requesting their Smarter Balanced results. Besides Los Angeles Unified, which already had released a summary of its results, only two districts so far have responded with scores: Sacramento City Unified and Lodi Unified. As with LAUSD, the scores showed significant drops in math and English language arts compared with 2018-19.

After receiving the EdSource request, Anaheim Union High School District contacted the California Department of Education. The response from the ETS’ California Outreach Team on behalf of the department was unequivocal: “The embargoed results are for LEA (local educational area) use only; they should not be shared with the public. The public release of the data is going to be available later on this year.”

Districts have also received communications from the department that data remained in a preliminary/draft status for districts, and statewide data is not yet final. Kelly Avants, the spokesperson for Clovis Unified School District, said Clovis interpreted that as “the data should continue to be treated as embargoed.” 

She said the district is planning a public workshop in November when the data will be public.

EdSource reporters contributing to this story:  Carolyn Jones, Ashleigh Panoo, Diana Lambert, Ali Tadayon and Daniel Willis.

To get more reports like this one, click here to sign up for EdSource’s no-cost daily email on latest developments in education.

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  1. Orange County Teacher 6 days ago6 days ago

    It is not surprising that school districts are hesitant to release data. Releasing data would force school districts to be held accountable for their mismanagement and open themselves up to questions and scrutiny from the public about their practices that contributed to such dismal academic scores. Schools have lost their focus. They are allowing instructional minutes to be filled with politically driven non-academic instruction. For example, Santa Ana Unified School District, a district that I … Read More

    It is not surprising that school districts are hesitant to release data. Releasing data would force school districts to be held accountable for their mismanagement and open themselves up to questions and scrutiny from the public about their practices that contributed to such dismal academic scores. Schools have lost their focus. They are allowing instructional minutes to be filled with politically driven non-academic instruction. For example, Santa Ana Unified School District, a district that I have worked in as a classroom teacher for over 20 years, has introduced a newly adopted Counseling Curriculum to various school sites that requires counselors to deliver a minimum of 14 hours of classroom counseling lessons/sessions to students. The decision to reduce required academic instructional minutes to accommodate a new curriculum was made without input from parents or teachers. Teachers and parents were not given the opportunity to review lessons or any attached and potentially controversial sex-ed third party curriculum resources that would be included in this new non-academic curriculum. Where is the oversight and accountability from the community for this decision?

    School districts across the country must be held accountable for not achieving academic excellence. They must put reading, science, and advancing basic reading and writing skills back on the forefront of teaching and spending. They must be held accountable for their mismanagement and misuse of funds, and for allowing tax payers and the students they serve to be deceived.

  2. OC Public School Teacher 7 days ago7 days ago

    It is not surprising that school districts are hesitant to release data. Releasing data would force them to be held accountable for their mismanagement & open themselves up to questions about their practices. Schools have lost their focus. They are allowing instructional minutes to be filled with politically driven non-academic instruction. For example, Santa Ana Unified School District, a district that I have worked as a teacher in for over 20 years, has introduced a … Read More

    It is not surprising that school districts are hesitant to release data. Releasing data would force them to be held accountable for their mismanagement & open themselves up to questions about their practices. Schools have lost their focus. They are allowing instructional minutes to be filled with politically driven non-academic instruction.

    For example, Santa Ana Unified School District, a district that I have worked as a teacher in for over 20 years, has introduced a newly adopted Counseling Curriculum to various school sites that requires counselors to deliver a minimum of 14 hours of classroom counseling lessons to students. The decision to reduce required academic instructional minutes to accommodate a new curriculum was made without input from parents or teachers. Teachers and parents were not even given the opportunity to review all the lessons or any attached and potentially controversial sex-ed third party curriculum resources that would be included in this new nonacademic curriculum. Where is the oversight and accountability from the community for this decision?

    School districts across the country must be held accountable for their mismanagement and for allowing taxpayers and the students they serve to be deceived.

  3. A 7 days ago7 days ago

    As someone who administered the 4th grade CAASPP last school year, I did not think the test was equitable and reliable. I saw at least 6 different versions and the numbers of questions ranged from 21 to 28. Furthermore, for the short constructed ELA responses, some students had a writing prompt while others had check boxes. Their ELA performance tests also varied from opinion, expository to narrative. This gave some students the advantage over … Read More

    As someone who administered the 4th grade CAASPP last school year, I did not think the test was equitable and reliable. I saw at least 6 different versions and the numbers of questions ranged from 21 to 28. Furthermore, for the short constructed ELA responses, some students had a writing prompt while others had check boxes. Their ELA performance tests also varied from opinion, expository to narrative. This gave some students the advantage over other students. I thought for sure that testing admins would be surveyed but no such luck.

  4. Brenda Lebsack - SAUSD Teacher 7 days ago7 days ago

    Todd Maddison – Great idea! There should be Public Records Request made in every school district by parents and tax payers. Good luck with yours in Oceanside Unified. As a teacher, I realize standardized tests do not measure "everything" but if there are no objective measurable goals, such as literacy and math, then evaluating education efficiency becomes like shooting an arrow and drawing the bullseye wherever the arrow lands. No other business survives when … Read More

    Todd Maddison – Great idea! There should be Public Records Request made in every school district by parents and tax payers. Good luck with yours in Oceanside Unified. As a teacher, I realize standardized tests do not measure “everything” but if there are no objective measurable goals, such as literacy and math, then evaluating education efficiency becomes like shooting an arrow and drawing the bullseye wherever the arrow lands. No other business survives when they fail to produce expected outcomes, for the exception of monopolies. (food for thought)

    Carl Cohn – I am also an insider as a teacher of 30 years, former school board member, state delegate for the NEA, CTA member, and former CSBA member. Since you ” know how the sausage is made” maybe you should let people know how many fillers are in education, such as Social Emotional Learning, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Anti-racism, Social Justice, Identity Politics, Activism Training, Gender Expansive teachings, etc.

    In fact, since you have a greater concern for “mental health” than literacy, can you tell me why the National Suicide Hotline, which is now required by law (SB 316) to be on Student ID cards, surveys kids on their genders providing 11 genders to choose from or they can name their own? Here are screen shots to verify this. https://interfaith4kids.com/index.php/our-media/national-suicide-hotline-surveys-kids-about-their-genders-and-sexualities

    Just as parents and taxpayers are being denied students’ academic scores, they are also being denied consent for their kids being surveyed about their gender(s) which violates EdCode: 51513. Since the CDE says parent partnership and family engagement is essential to the success of educating children, don’t these hotline questionnaires betray that promise to parents? https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/pf/pf/documents/famengageframeenglish.pdf. And truly, as someone who also knows how the “sausage is made,” I’m here to tell you the fillers in today’s “educational sausage” are deceptive and detrimental.

  5. MB 1 week ago1 week ago

    Not releasing the results is inexcusable, however, holding the state superintendent responsible for the results (per Lance Christensen) following the impact of the pandemic and individual school district responsibility, is just political nonsense.

    Replies

    • Todd Maddison 3 days ago3 days ago

      Who would you suggest we hold responsible?

      Poor performance is directly connected to the prolonged closure of schools, far longer than necessary. The Superintendent is responsible for setting direction on that.

      He’s the Captain of the Ship. He may not have been in the crow’s nest with binoculars when the iceberg was missed, but he’s certainly responsible for it.

  6. Frances O'Neill Zimmerman 1 week ago1 week ago

    Much-discussed "threats to democracy" are not restricted to the arena of voting rights, but include this kind of stonewalling and misinformation from the highest offices of California's Department of Public Instruction. It is an apparent cover-up of what doubtless will be bad news on the Smarter Balanced front, to be diluted by camouflage statistics on attendance, tardiness and school lunch policies. People with kids in our schools have a right to know the scores … Read More

    Much-discussed “threats to democracy” are not restricted to the arena of voting rights, but include this kind of stonewalling and misinformation from the highest offices of California’s Department of Public Instruction. It is an apparent cover-up of what doubtless will be bad news on the Smarter Balanced front, to be diluted by camouflage statistics on attendance, tardiness and school lunch policies. People with kids in our schools have a right to know the scores so that changes can be made to improve students’ academic performance before all the spending decisions are made.

    LA Superintendent Alberto Carvalho calls for full disclosure: time for State Superintendent Tony Thurmond to heed that message.

  7. Renee Webster-Hawkins 1 week ago1 week ago

    Thank you for being a leader on education policy and analysis in California, EdSource! Do you think you will populate your SBAC database on a rolling basis with the stats provided by the districts who are responding to your district-level PRA requests?

  8. Carl Cohn 1 week ago1 week ago

    Asking for a friend, but why at this late date are smart people still worshipping at the shrine of standardized tests? LOL! As a former superintendent, a State Board of Education member and head of a state education agency (CCEE), did someone think that scores were not going to plummet following the pandemic? I've also served on the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) and I've been chair of the ACT board. I know how the sausage … Read More

    Asking for a friend, but why at this late date are smart people still worshipping at the shrine of standardized tests? LOL!

    As a former superintendent, a State Board of Education member and head of a state education agency (CCEE), did someone think that scores were not going to plummet following the pandemic? I’ve also served on the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) and I’ve been chair of the ACT board. I know how the sausage is made and I don’t think it should be the end all and be all in determining the value of public schools.

    Yes, it’s an important annual story for media outlets but that’s all it is. Classroom-based assessments are much more important in finding out what real kids actually need. What’s even more important is putting in place the supports that hard-working teachers need to support student learning.

    Right now, I’m much more concerned about the post-pandemic mental health of our teenagers than I am about 4th grade reading scores. Sorry!

    Replies

    • David Lee 1 week ago1 week ago

      Sorry, but 4th grade reading scores are terribly important and relevant. I am 8th grade math teacher in San Francisco with 17 years of experience. I can assure that many of the students that are "passed" along to my classroom are functionally illiterate. Barely reading at a fourth grade level. This is not an anomaly. For our general public readers if a student makes a 60 or above they get passed along to Algebra 1 in … Read More

      Sorry, but 4th grade reading scores are terribly important and relevant. I am 8th grade math teacher in San Francisco with 17 years of experience. I can assure that many of the students that are “passed” along to my classroom are functionally illiterate. Barely reading at a fourth grade level. This is not an anomaly.

      For our general public readers if a student makes a 60 or above they get passed along to Algebra 1 in 9th grade. No questions asked.

      As you well know this type type of student is usually the most disruptive.

    • Kimmyb 1 week ago1 week ago

      You must not have, or know many, elementary school kids. I know from personal experience that the schools are not doing a good job of catching our non reading fourth graders up. They are simply moved on then eventually put in special ed even though many are very intelligent. You may be more concerned about teens mental health, but it will be a disaster when these fourth graders arrive in high school … Read More

      You must not have, or know many, elementary school kids. I know from personal experience that the schools are not doing a good job of catching our non reading fourth graders up. They are simply moved on then eventually put in special ed even though many are very intelligent. You may be more concerned about teens mental health, but it will be a disaster when these fourth graders arrive in high school and still cannot read. I thought schools were supposed to teach our kids to read not be mental health counselors.

    • Douglas McRae 1 week ago1 week ago

      Carl -- Even die-hard educational measurement guys like me will agree that classroom tests for teachers and curriculum supports are much more important than statewide assessment tests. But . . . . statewide tests provide a valuable data source not only for statewide purposes but also for county and local district and individual school purposes, and disaggregations for important subgroups, to plot strategies and to communicate with students and parents. These values need timely test administration windows … Read More

      Carl —

      Even die-hard educational measurement guys like me will agree that classroom tests for teachers and curriculum supports are much more important than statewide assessment tests.

      But . . . . statewide tests provide a valuable data source not only for statewide purposes but also for county and local district and individual school purposes, and disaggregations for important subgroups, to plot strategies and to communicate with students and parents. These values need timely test administration windows (end-of-school year) as well as release of results (early the following school year, if not before the start of the following school year), and strong test security to generate credible results that cannot be matched by district, school, or classroom interim tests. Unreasonable delay of statewide test results compromise the quality and value generated by statewide tests.

      In other words, Carl, different strokes for different folks . . . ..

    • Todd Maddison 3 days ago3 days ago

      “everyone knew scores were going to plummet..”

      Did they plummet – at all, or as far as in CA, in states that did not keep their schools closed long past the point where it was necessary, like CA?

      I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know there is likely actual data that can be used to learn from the experience. The decline in test scores may be expected, but were they necessary?

  9. Todd Maddison 1 week ago1 week ago

    Thanks for doing this - and suing the CDE over it. I made this same request of my district - Oceanside Unified - a few days before yours, on 9/11. Their initial response was denial, claiming.... "The District’s understanding is that the requested records are maintained by the California Department of Education (“CDE”), who controls the release of SBAC testing data. CDE will be making the data publicly available on its website – after CDE … Read More

    Thanks for doing this – and suing the CDE over it.

    I made this same request of my district – Oceanside Unified – a few days before yours, on 9/11. Their initial response was denial, claiming….

    “The District’s understanding is that the requested records are maintained by the California Department of Education (“CDE”), who controls the release of SBAC testing data. CDE will be making the data publicly available on its website – after CDE ensures that the data reflects all students and is not incomplete – some time on or after August 31, 2022…”

    I’ve responded letting them know I did not ask for the state’s data, I asked for data in the possession of Oceanside Unified, which they most certainly have given they provided it to the state.

    No response yet, but it has only been a few days.

    I would suggest everyone make a similar request to their own district, and to the CDE.

    I’ll be putting in my PRA to the CDE shortly.

    Thanks for the help!

    Replies

    • John Fensterwald 1 week ago1 week ago

      Good luck with your action, Todd.

      Just to be clear, EdSource filed a Public Records Act request for the Smarter Balanced data, as you did, and our attorney filed an appeal of CDE’s denial. We have awaiting that response and have taken no further action at this point.

  10. Bill 1 week ago1 week ago

    I sincerely hope this blatantly political decision is reversed and hope your legal objections prevail. This is our data. Californians paid for everything to do with this data - from teaching to administration to release of the public results. This is stand-alone data. It does not depend on the dashboard for release. People are not stupid and we can take the results for what they are. The only time the data was released later than … Read More

    I sincerely hope this blatantly political decision is reversed and hope your legal objections prevail. This is our data. Californians paid for everything to do with this data – from teaching to administration to release of the public results. This is stand-alone data. It does not depend on the dashboard for release. People are not stupid and we can take the results for what they are. The only time the data was released later than usual was because of Covid delays as told to me on the phone by the testing office. Release the data now!

  11. Eleanor 1 week ago1 week ago

    "Since California first released Smarter Balanced scores in 2015, the Education Department has consistently released them separately and sooner than the other dashboard data. Dates ranged from the last week in August through the first week in October. The exception was the 2020-21 school year, when results were released in January 2022 with dashboard indicators. " John, So the previous two most recent years the Smarter Balanced data was NOT released in August-October. Which, frankly, makes … Read More

    “Since California first released Smarter Balanced scores in 2015, the Education Department has consistently released them separately and sooner than the other dashboard data. Dates ranged from the last week in August through the first week in October. The exception was the 2020-21 school year, when results were released in January 2022 with dashboard indicators. ”

    John,

    So the previous two most recent years the Smarter Balanced data was NOT released in August-October. Which, frankly, makes it sound like you are manufacturing a narrative that the Thurmond is postponing the data release to help his political chances. This might be believable if the previous two years followed the August-October pattern, but they do not, the pandemic not withstanding. I expect better from EdSource, John. And frankly this article smacks of journalistic malpractice.

    Replies

    • John Fensterwald 1 week ago1 week ago

      Eleanor, there was no test given in 2019-20 because of the pandemic, and the problematic results from the 2020-21 testing, taken during remote learning by fewer than 25% of students, were released in January 2022. One of the selling points of Smarter Balanced was there would be a quick turnaround in the scores, so that parents, teachers and the public could learn from the information. Releasing the scores with the dashboard seven to nine months … Read More

      Eleanor, there was no test given in 2019-20 because of the pandemic, and the problematic results from the 2020-21 testing, taken during remote learning by fewer than 25% of students, were released in January 2022. One of the selling points of Smarter Balanced was there would be a quick turnaround in the scores, so that parents, teachers and the public could learn from the information. Releasing the scores with the dashboard seven to nine months after administration of a test is given is hardly timely. Few Smarter Balanced states wait anywhere near that long.

      • Todd Maddison 1 week ago1 week ago

        Exactly right. The data is there, there is no reason for the delay other than what you’ve laid out in the article.

      • Douglas McRae 1 week ago1 week ago

        To provide a bit of data to the conversation, I've been collecting Smarter Balanced statewide results for 11 states for a consortium-wide gain score data document since 2015. This year, the current tally is that 6 states have already released their 2022 statewide results [2 states in August, 4 states in September to date], with 3 additional states planning to release in October, and 2 states indicating they plan to wait until November or December … Read More

        To provide a bit of data to the conversation, I’ve been collecting Smarter Balanced statewide results for 11 states for a consortium-wide gain score data document since 2015. This year, the current tally is that 6 states have already released their 2022 statewide results [2 states in August, 4 states in September to date], with 3 additional states planning to release in October, and 2 states indicating they plan to wait until November or December to release via accountability dashboards [CA and VT as far as I can ascertain]. I hope to distribute a preliminary version of my Smarter Balanced gain score data document in October.

        When local districts release their data to their boards, the first question asked is frequently “how do our local district results compare to statewide results.” Fair question, no answer possible in CA. The bigger picture is that good educational measurement practice is to release statewide results as soon as possible without compromising accuracy. It generally takes 6 weeks or so after a test administration window closes to clean up and verify the data and release the results. For CA this year, with the Smarter Balanced window expiring the end of July, the target date for release should be mid-Sept.

        John, good luck with your public information appeal!

        Doug McRae
        Educational Measurement Specialist (Retired)

  12. Adam Hampton 1 week ago1 week ago

    Why is anyone stressed about these scores? Kids weren't in school to have 6 weeks of their education undercut by test preparation. Now that they're back, we'll pull the 2s out of their electives for weeks prior to the tests (really juicing that love of education for them) in order to try to make them 3s - more bang for the buck! Meanwhile, superintendents will hide behind Covid and Zoom school to excuse these … Read More

    Why is anyone stressed about these scores? Kids weren’t in school to have 6 weeks of their education undercut by test preparation. Now that they’re back, we’ll pull the 2s out of their electives for weeks prior to the tests (really juicing that love of education for them) in order to try to make them 3s – more bang for the buck!

    Meanwhile, superintendents will hide behind Covid and Zoom school to excuse these scores and layer intense pressure upon their local administrators who will layer intense pressure upon their local teachers to test prep throughout the year, in an effort to “show growth” so that superintendents can claim that they are responsible for the ensuing growth in scores and bask in their well-earned glory.

    Sounds cynical, but it’s experience talking. We’ve all read this book and seen this movie. Standardized tests are a crime against students. Test prep steals instructional time to get ready for a test that means absolutely nothing to their future. No meaning whatsoever.

    How did any of us get to where we are in life without the intense test prep that we should have undergone in our own school days to ensure our success?

  13. D 1 week ago1 week ago

    This is proof that the CAASP test scores are a blood bath and that the state’s and CTA’s decision to close schools for a full year was an epic failure. They know it will hurt them in the midterms if released. They claim to care about the education of kids, but will let 6 months go by before alerting the public. All the while, kids fall further and further behind academically and socially. Disgusting.

  14. Brenda Lebsack - Teacher 1 week ago1 week ago

    Now we're talking! EdSource has a lawyer? That's very cool. Thank you Mr. Fensterwald for serving the public with journalism that provides accountability. We need check and balances, not "unified messaging" - taxpayers deserve the truth. Students are not a union commodities nor should they be used as political chess pieces. Calif students deserve educational services that increase literacy and academic achievement. I agree with Thurmond's opponent, Lance … Read More

    Now we’re talking! EdSource has a lawyer? That’s very cool. Thank you Mr. Fensterwald for serving the public with journalism that provides accountability. We need check and balances, not “unified messaging” – taxpayers deserve the truth. Students are not a union commodities nor should they be used as political chess pieces. Calif students deserve educational services that increase literacy and academic achievement. I agree with Thurmond’s opponent, Lance Christensen: “The fact that the department is not willing to publish now suggests that scores will be lower and the current state superintendent does not want to be held accountable for the results.”

    Thank you again EdSource for fair and bold journalism.

    Replies

    • Todd Maddison 1 week ago1 week ago

      Absolutely. Right on!

  15. Dan Plonsey 1 week ago1 week ago

    We know pretty much what the data will look like, and we know why: the pandemic amplified the effect of economic inequality. The State and EdSource should both stop trying to score political points and instead work to improve public education: by directly addressing CA’s massive economic inequality. And in the meantime, we’ll need high quality tutoring for the kids who fell furthest behind. Schools can already identify who those kids are.

    Replies

    • Dr. Bill Conrad 1 week ago1 week ago

      Fewer than 1/3 of Black 3rd graders were proficient in math and ELA pre-pandemic. The K-12 system was failing children well before the pandemic.

      It may be time to look in the mirror and improve teacher content knowledge, pedagogy, and assessment skills. It might also help for the system to learn how to teach reading in a scientific way! Just saying.

      A big thanks to EdSource for going after the data!

  16. Natalie Daedler 1 week ago1 week ago

    Thank you for holding the CDE accountable

  17. Miles Archer 1 week ago1 week ago

    Fsandoval, I disagree. If you're so confident, let some kids use vouchers and charters and choose them randomly. Then monitor results. Florida is beating us in test scores of Black and Latino kids. This is important. We must get Black and Latino kids studying harder, provide them tutoring and assistance, and convince parents to help more. We can't get this wrong or there will be more generations of inequality. … Read More

    Fsandoval, I disagree. If you’re so confident, let some kids use vouchers and charters and choose them randomly. Then monitor results. Florida is beating us in test scores of Black and Latino kids. This is important. We must get Black and Latino kids studying harder, provide them tutoring and assistance, and convince parents to help more. We can’t get this wrong or there will be more generations of inequality.

    Test scores determine income. I think the facts need to be known, whichever way they lean. Democracy thrives in light and dies in darkness. America will be stronger if we understand every factor in academic failure and work together to solve them.

  18. Fsandoval 1 week ago1 week ago

    No it doesn’t. Educators in schools already know the scores. They already have the information and are doing the work to get kids back on track. Publishing the scores will cause politicians to attack public schools, vilify them, and make the excuse that privatization with charter schools is the answer. Charter schools are anything but the answer to what kids need. Schools need funding and smaller class sizes. Not punishment.

  19. Fred Jones 1 week ago1 week ago

    It’ll be released November 9

    Replies

    • Z 1 week ago1 week ago

      Nov 9th, a day after the Mid-term elections, you know the scores are bad if they are going to wait for after the election. Stop hurting our kids, let us know the scores now we we can put a plan together to get them to where they need to be, don’t let them suffer another year.

      • JudiAU 1 week ago1 week ago

        Wow. That is just transparent and shameful. What a bunch of cowards to engage in this type of political chicanery.

        Thank you EdSource for try to hold them accountable.

        And PS our charter school hasn’t fully released its test scores either.

  20. Dr. Bill Conrad 1 week ago1 week ago

    The California State Board of Education is a key player in an organized crime network that marinates in a toxic culture of self over service and loyalty over competence. Part of the problem may be that many school districts probably did not even administer the assessments like they failed to do in the previous year. I know that Newark Unified School District failed to administer the assessments last year. No accountability! No response either. Same ole. Same … Read More

    The California State Board of Education is a key player in an organized crime network that marinates in a toxic culture of self over service and loyalty over competence.

    Part of the problem may be that many school districts probably did not even administer the assessments like they failed to do in the previous year. I know that Newark Unified School District failed to administer the assessments last year.

    No accountability! No response either.

    Same ole. Same ole. Adults protecting adults! Children and Families? Let them wait!

  21. Jim 1 week ago1 week ago

    Thank you Edsource for your service here.

  22. Kimmyb 1 week ago1 week ago

    No surprise. Governor Newsom and his underlings are going to hide how bad the damage to our kids is until after the election. This is in line with how kids and families have been treated throughout the pandemic.

    Replies

    • tom mccloskey 1 week ago1 week ago

      Of course Newsome is doing that, we expect that from Mr. French Laundry, but why are so many school districts not releasing the data? Kudos to LAUSD and a few others. I’m quite sure the teachers unions don’t want parents to see the data if they have an excuse to withhold it. The system is corrupt and school choice or vouchers are needed to reign it in.

    • Jim 1 week ago1 week ago

      Newsom and the other politicos have been consistently demonstrating that educating children is the least important and most dispensable aspect of K12 education.