Fallen STAR

Students+pencil+down+answers+to+a+test+given+by+Mrs.+Kennedy+in+room+T9.+

Students pencil down answers to a test given by Mrs. Kennedy in room T9.

Earlier today, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill AB 484, a bill that discontinues the old California Standardized Tests, which have been taken by all current students at Cam High since they were in the second grade. Instead, the state will be giving a “Smarter Balanced Test” for the 2013-2014 school year. The new tests will be taken on computers, with its content aligned with the new Common Core standards.

“I’m happy,” said Mr. Shawn Near, social science department chairman at Cam High. “I think the (STAR) test had too much influence over what we taught in the classroom and had us gloss over more important information.”

Mr. Tom Ito, assistant principal at Cam High, also expressed hopeful views for the new state test. “I think it’s a good idea. With the CST Testing, we always had to make sure we taught the standards given by the state. The Common Core seems to focus less on standards, and more on critical thinking and the depth of knowledge of the students.”

However, Alexis Kallen, senior at Cam High, remains weary of the state’s decision. “If they are going to do this, they will need to review their budget first.” ┬áThe state will use surplus funds from the STAR test to fund the new Smarter Balance assessments.

It has not yet been determined how Cam High will respond to the changes inherent in today’s announcement. The Stinger will follow this story.

Casey Jacobsen and Priscilla Duran contributed to this story.