News briefs

California governor calls for less testing

Gov. Jerry BrownGov. Jerry Brown Deviating from education reform policies championed by President Obama, California Gov. Jerry Brown told state legislators on Jan. 18 in his State of the State message that he wants limits on standardized testing and reduced roles for federal and state government in local schools.

He also said test results should be turned over more quickly to school districts.

“I believe it is time to reduce the number of tests and get the results to teachers, principals and superintendents in weeks, not months,” Brown said.

Brown also espoused a more nuanced view on teacher evaluation. “With timely data, principals and superintendents can better mentor and guide teachers as well as make sound evaluations of their performance,” he said. “I also believe we need a qualitative system of assessments, such as a site visitation program where each classroom is visited, observed and evaluated.”

He also called for returning more decision-making powers to local school districts.

“What most needs to be avoided is concentrating more and more decision-making at the federal or state level,” Brown said. “We should set broad goals and have a good accountability system, leaving the real work to those closest to the students ... . We should not impose excessive or detailed mandates.”

Washington Post Answer Sheet blog, Jan. 18
Los Angeles Times, Jan. 20

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