California appeals federal decision on state science testing
lifornia education officials have appealed the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to reject the state’s request to begin phasing in tests this spring based on new science standards, rather than administer current tests based on standards in place since 1998.
In a letter sent Tuesday to federal education leaders, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and State Board of Education President Michael Kirst wrote that they are seeking an administrative hearing in Washington, D.C., to make their case before Ann Whalen, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary of Education John King Jr.
Existing federal education law requires that the U.S. Department of Education hold a hearing by Dec. 29, but Torlakson and Kirst requested that the hearing be postponed until after the Jan. 2 holiday to allow state education staff time to prepare for the hearing.
“Given the upcoming holiday season, we believe that conducting a hearing prior to this date (Dec. 29) will be burdensome for both parties,” Torlakson and Kirst wrote.
“We hope to honor our respective staffs’ family obligations, and recognize the difficulty and expense of booking last-minute travel during the holiday season,” they wrote. “This suggestion does not represent a waiver of our right to a hearing; instead, it indicates our willingness to waive the statutory time limit within which that hearing should be conducted.”