California LEP Lawsuit Settled

K-12 Testing

A legal battle between several urban school districts and the state of California over administering tests to students with limited English proficiency (LEP; see Examiner, Spring 1998) has been settled before trial. The state requires all LEP students who have been in school for more than one year to take the test in English, even though many are not able to read it.


The districts agreed to follow the state guidelines, while the state agreed to a few minor changes in its regulations and policies. The state also said it would publicize the fact that parents have the right to opt their children out of testing and to clarify that districts can inform parents about this right.


Opponents of the testing program have called for massive boycotts to render school and district results statistically meaningless and the testing program politically unviable.


California administers the multiple-choice, norm-referenced Stanford Achievement Test-9 (SAT-9) annually to most students and uses the results to rank schools on its controversial Academic Performance Index. Substantial rewards and sanctions are attached to test results.


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