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California schools would be judged less by student test scores under a bill lawmakers are sending to Gov. Jerry Brown.

Senate Bill 1458 by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg de-emphasizes standardized tests in evaluating schools, and requires other factors - such as graduation rates, college-going rates, and other measures - to be used in calculating a school's Academic Performance Index. It cleared the Legislature today when the Senate approved it, 23-13.

"The real purpose of the bill is to do what I hope creates a shock to the system so there is an incentive for a broader curriculum in high schools that is both rigorous and relevant," Steinberg said.

Brown vetoed a similar bill by Steinberg last year, suggesting local evaluation panels could be a good part of a new system for evaluating schools. That concept is part of SB 1458.

Opponents said the bill would weaken California's school accountability system that uses the same tests statewide to judge school performance.



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