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US approves California's new K-12 testing plan


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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal education officials have approved California's plan to make way for a massive rollout of new standardized tests this spring by doing away with the assessments the state's public school students have taken in reading, math and social science since 1999.

The U.S. Department of Education said Friday that the state's proposal to replace its Standardized Testing and Reporting, or STAR tests with an experimental trial run of the new computer-based language and math tests makes sense since the replacement assessments more accurately mirror the lessons teachers have been giving this year.

The new Smarter Balanced tests will be given to all students in grades 3-8 and 11 sometime between March 18 and June 6, but no results will be made public.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan initially threatened to withhold federal funding if the state abandoned the old tests while the news ones still were under development.

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