September 10 | Education Week

By Michelle McNeil

California's plan to dump most of its state testing program as it muddles through the tricky transition to new tests aligned to the common-core standards got a major rejection letter from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Monday.

In a statement, Duncan said he couldn't approve California's plan in "good conscience." The federal department, as required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, would have to approve any major changes to a state testing system—such as not administering tests to large groups of students.

Duncan said: "...If California moves foraward with a plan that fails to assess all its students, as requried by federal law, the department will be forced to take action, which could include witholding funds from the state." ... The U.S. Department of Education rarely, if ever, takes the step of withholding Title I funds that directly benefit students.

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