CBEST Trial Postponed Till Summer

Teacher & Employment Testing

Courtroom action on the case challenging the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST) has been postponed until June, pending an expert's review of the exam and data about its impact. Plaintiffs have sued in Federal Court claiming the "initial teacher competency exam" has unfairly barred thousands of competent educators of color from working in California classrooms (see Examiner, Spring 1995).


John Affeldt, attorney for the non-profit law firm Public Advocates Inc. who represents the plaintiffs, presented the fact portion of the case earlier this year. Affeldt submitted evidence that the test manufacturer, the Educational Testing Service (ETS), did not study whether CBEST scores were related to ability to perform as a teacher. ETS did not satisfy any validation standards for the test*. The plaintiffs also showed that the passing score on the exam was set at a higher level than recommended by the state panel which reviewed the test to determined a cut score.


The trial is expected to be completed by the end of summer.