By John Fensterwald
Despite a threatening letter last week from an assistant secretary of the federal Department of Education, the executive director of the State Board of Education is expressing confidence that the state will reach an agreement over standardized testing next spring to avoid tens of millions of dollars in federal penalties.
“I remain optimistic we can resolve this,” Karen Stapf Walters said on Friday. “They feel the same.”
They – specifically Assistant Secretary Deborah Delisle – haven’t appeared equally sanguine, at least publicly. In her letter to state officials, which was released last week, Delisle said California would face substantial sanctions if it follows a new state law and fails to test every student in reading and math in grades 3 though 8 and grade 11 next year. Delisle said the state Department of Education stands to lose federal money used to administer Title I funding for disadvantaged students and to administer federally required tests.