Education: Justifying State Assessment Test

Several months ago, prior to the release of last year's results, our school district protested to the state about the validity of California Learning Assessment System (CLAS) tests and how reliable they were in assessing the effectiveness of any school's educational program. As a matter of fact, we were concerned about every aspect of this test.

Now my personal concern is the misinformation being given to parents regarding who is responsible. The governor and the state Legislature have mandated this test. If we refuse to give it, we are violating a state-directed mandate and risk a loss of revenue. To bring a lawsuit against the state would be spending taxpayers' dollars on a meaningless suit, and would be nothing more than tax dollars being used for one public agency against another.

The governor and the state Legislature have the final authority on the continuation of the CLAS test. I urge parents to direct their opinions to them.

Isn't it about time for Gov. Wilson and other elected officials to take a stand and justify the purpose and expenditures being used for this purpose?

EDWARD A. SUSSMAN

Superintendent, Downey Unified School District

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