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Exams to Count Less In Calif. Accountability

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California's key measure of public school quality will be redefined to lessen the impact of standardized-test scores under a bill signed into law last week by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The law will broaden how the state's Academic Performance Index is calculated by limiting test scores to 60 percent for high schools and including graduation rates and other factors.

The 1000-point index, which is currently based entirely on student test scores, has been criticized as an inaccurate gauge of school quality even as it is widely used by parents to choose schools.

Test scores must count for at least 60 percent of the API for elementary and middle schools, for which alternative data are less developed.

Under the new law, the state school board and superintendent will work to incorporate other factors into the index, such as students' college readiness. The law specifies an increased emphasis on science and social science, which carry little weight in the current API.

Vol. 32, Issue 06, Page 4

Published in Print: October 3, 2012, as Exams to Count Less In Calif. Accountability
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