SACRAMENTO -- A bill ending standardized tests that California public school students have taken in reading, math and social science since 1999 received Gov. Jerry Brown's signature on Wednesday, despite a threat by the U.S. secretary of education to withhold federal funds if the state adopted the plan.
Assembly Bill 484 replaces the pencil-and-paper, multiple-choice STAR tests with new language and math tests taken on computers. The new assessments, called Measurement of Academic Progress and Performance, were designed with other states to follow a set of national curriculum standards known as Common Core.
"I've said from the beginning, California needs tests that measure how ready our students are for the challenges of a changing world," said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, who championed a shift away from STAR tests.
The new tests are under development, so schools will give them on a practice basis in grades 3-8 and 11 this spring, with students taking either the math or language sections, but not both.
No individual scores, school performance reports or statewide results -- used by parents to gauge their children's advancement and by politicians and business leaders to compare schools -- would be generated from the rollout.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has criticized California for wanting to go a year or more without reporting test scores and threatened to withhold federal funds if it made the switch.
Mercury News Staff writer Sharon Noguchi contributed to this report.