California Testing Wins "Most Appalling News"

K-12 Testing

The California Mathematics Council (CMC), an association of 10,000 math educators, has written to state officials to sharply criticize that state's testing program. California mandates use of the Stanford 9 in grades two through 11 (Examiner, Winter 1997-98). Because that test is not aligned with the state's content standards, the state has added "augmented" items. CMC cites many comments from teachers, such as "My whole fourth grade class cried"; "The test strategy seems to be, `If the students have trouble with a topic in seventh grade, let's teach it to them in fourth grade"; "[T]hey want to make schools worse so they can push vouchers"; and a teacher citing a top-notch Algebra II student as saying, after he "finished" it in eight minutes, "This test is impossible." CMC has called on legislators to suspend the exam or at least conduct a legislative inquiry into the test, and they have called on their members to become active on the issue. CMC, P.O. Box 880, Clayton, CA 94517; 888/262-6284; text on the web at: