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BC-CA--California News Digest,1st Add, CA



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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SWITCHING STUDENT TESTS

SAN FRANCISCO — Federal education officials on Friday approved California's plan to roll out new computer-based standardized tests this spring, ending a months-long dispute that put the state at risk of sacrificing $1.5 billion in federal school funding. The U.S. Department of Education said the state's plan for an experimental trial run of the new Smarter Balanced language and math tests makes sense because they more accurately mirror the lessons teachers have been giving this year. The Smarter Balanced tests will replace the Standardized Testing and Reporting tests, or STAR tests, that the state's public school students have taken in reading, math and social science since 1999, but no results will be made available from this year's debut. By Lisa Leff. SENT: 740 words.

MANSION KILLINGS

SANTA ANA — A 19-year-old man was charged Friday with shooting his parents to death and trying to kill two of his siblings inside their luxury Southern California home in a complex case that took investigators weeks to unravel. Ashton Sachs, who enrolled at a college in Washington state last fall, is being held without bail in an Orange County jail on two counts of murder with special circumstances and two counts of attempted murder. If convicted, Sachs could face the death penalty. By Amy Taxin. SENT: 340 words, photos.

COLD CASE QUILT-ARREST

SAN JOSE — Authorities in Santa Clara County say two men face murder charges in the cold case of a woman found strangled in her car 25 years ago. Prosecutors say David Zimmer of Half Moon Bay was arrested Friday for the murder of his wife Cathy Zimmer who was found slain in her backseat wrapped in a quilt in a San Jose airport parking lot in 1989. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words by 6:30 p.m.

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The Associated Press

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