California lawmakers target linking of student IDs to test scores


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State lawmakers weighed in Monday against a controversial practice in which schools issue student IDs and notebooks that are color-coded to show how the student did on standardized testing.

Kennedy and Cypress high schools in the Anaheim School District issued ID cards and planners that were black/platinum for students who scored ‘advanced’ on the previous year’s standardized tests, gold for those who scored proficient and white for those who scored below proficient and failed to meet improvement standards.


The program was proposed as an incentive to get students to do better on the tests, with those holding premium, color cards allowed to use shorter lunch lines and get discounts for school activities, including football games.

But state Sen. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) said the color-coding can be ‘embarrassing and demoralizing’ to students and should be prohibited.

The state Senate voted 34-2 on Monday to approve AB 1166 by Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana), which prohibits school districts from including information about a pupil’s test scores or grades on a school identification card or ‘any object a pupil may be required to carry while at school.’

The measure, which was supported by the California Teachers Assn. and the American Civil Liberties Union, was previously approved by the Assembly but goes back there for action on Senate amendments.


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-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento