US EDITORIAL: State hides, decides not to hide test data
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Sep. 28—The California Department of Education just experienced whiplash over the last few days.
Last week, education news outlet EdSource reported the department denied the outlet access to statewide test scores from the state's annual Smarter Balanced tests.
An Aug. 5 letter from the department to school boards indicates the data has already been collected and prepared. EdSource notes the letter itself states the data is "not embargoed."
Yet these results are not readily available for the public to view, hence EdSource's request for access to the data.
On Friday, EdSource reported the California Department of Education planned on publishing the data later in the year as part of a separate information dashboard which is usually updated sometime between November and January.
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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Three observations from Ohio State football’s 52-21 victory over Wisconsin in the Buckeyes’ Big Ten Conference opener. 1. Tanner McCalister watched Ohio State cornerbacks JK Johnson and Jyaire Brown prepare for their first career starts and thought back to Nov. 2, 2019. On that date, McCalister was an Oklahoma State sophomore pressed into his first career start by an injury above him on the depth chart. Despite his nerves, he recorded six tackles against Texas Christian that night. McCalister, a veteran of 45 games with the Cowboys and Buckeyes, made sure the young cornerbacks knew they were not being asked to win that game by themselves.
This sparked a justified backlash, since it's not hard to conclude the department has a political motive for postponing the release of test score data that is expected to show statewide declines in academic outcomes for California's students. This would reflect badly on the head of the Department of Education — Tony Thurmond, who is up for re-election this year.
Yet by Tuesday, Sept. 27, the department reversed itself, saying the data will be publicly available sometime next month. "There is no reason to withhold the data," Deputy Superintendent Malia Vella acknowledged on KPCC Tuesday morning.
"The heat got too hot," tweeted CalMatters columnist Dan Walters in response to the news.
The department should make the data available immediately. Ballots will be mailed out within two weeks. Californians deserve to know what the state of education is.
This editorial board has long lamented the poor state of public education in California.
Despite having a massive and growing budget, California's K-12 system consistently ranks near the bottom on national standardized tests and most California students leave the public K-12 system never having been proficient in English and mathematics according to the state's own standards.
That's why we've endorsed Lance Christensen to oust Thurmond.
(c)2022 The Whittier Daily News, Calif. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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