Students will take pilot tests based on new science standards.
Rare astronomical phenomena on Aug. 21 coincides with the start of school for many districts.
Familiarity with tests and increased Internet capabilities helped districts administer assessments, but state system experienced glitches when overloaded.
The State Board of Education agreed to spend $1.5 million more on testing, including nearly $500,000 on new "Science Academies" intended to help teachers better understand the Next Generation Science Standards.
Computer-based exam based on Next Generation Science Standards to be given through June.
Those who are participating say it's important to fight funding cuts to science agencies and education.
Teacher support and high-quality materials are key, according to a new report.
New standards, among the most comprehensive in the nation, focus on human impacts.
The state formed committees to support implementation of the Common Core standards, Next Generation Science Standards and History-Social Science standards.
State officials will administer the new test, not the old test in place since the 1990s.
The approach encourages hands-on learning through experiments.
The U.S. Department of Education has rejected California’s request to begin administering online tests this spring based on new science standards.
California argues that the online testing format squares with the federal 'Testing Action Plan' to reduce the time students spend taking standardized tests.
California education officials have appealed the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to reject the state’s request to begin phasing in new science tests this spring.