By Richard Bammer
New computerized tests in California’s public schools are on the way with the soon-to-be-launched Smarter Balanced field tests across every school district.
In trial runs only for the time being, the testing begins March 18 and continues to June 6. By the end, more than 3 million students, in grades three through eight and 11, county offices of education, and charter schools — such as Buckingham High and the ACE elementary program in Vacaville and Dixon Montessori in Dixon — will have had a chance to try the new system.
No student, school, or district scores will be produced from this year’s field test because its purpose is to “test the test” — to determine how well the test questions and technology work, state officials said in a press release. The tests for which scores will count begin in spring 2015 and will require students, as early as second grade, to be familiar with a computer keyboard in order to complete the test.