With federal approval finally in hand to give a Common Core-aligned practice test this spring, the State Board of Education took the inevitable next step this week. It suspended the Academic Performance Index, the chief measure of schools’ academic growth or progress, for this year and next.How can you "grade" a high school when you test only its juniors? How can you pinpoint where the problems are? How are we to use the data to fix issues if we don't know about a problem until late in junior year or early in senior year? I'm not saying we do a lot with the data we get now, but we'll be able to do even less under the new regime.
A reconstituted API will resume in 2015-16, incorporating results from the Smarter Balanced assessments, the new Common Core tests for English language arts and math that will be given to students in grades 3 to 8 and grade 11.
And we'll be able to do nothing for the next two years, except to jigger the numbers around to make California's education system not look as bad as it is.