Stanford 9 / STAR Examinations

"America's academic meltdown"
By Alan Bonsteel, Orange County Register, May 7, 2011.
In September 1939, as Hitler's Panzer tanks rumbled over Poland, King George VI delivered an address over the BBC to the entire world, one written by Winston Churchill and now famous thanks to the film "The King's Speech." He began: "In this grave hour, perhaps the most fateful in history, I send to every household this message, spoken with the same depth of feeling for each one of you as if I were able to cross your threshold and speak to you myself." (38 kb)

"Higher Test Scores Fool No One"
By Alan Bonsteel, Orange County Register, September 15, 2010.
The California Department of Education released Monday the latest version of the Academic Performance Index, essentially a press release that was designed to conceal rather than inform. (10.6 kb)

"California's test scores are misleading"
By Alan Bonsteel, LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS, August 19, 2009.
The California Department of Education announced on Tuesday that "for the seventh year in a row" test scores on the statewide STAR test had increased. (9.83 kb)

"Schools failed the exit exam: Court's tossing of the test affirms public schools' dismal record"
By Alan Bonsteel, Los Angeles Daily News, May 16, 2006.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman struck down California's new high school exit exam last week, saying the test is unfair to students who have been shortchanged by substandard public schools. (27 kb)

"Parents demand, 'Let our children go'"
By Alan Bonsteel, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, March 24, 2006.
How long should parents allow their children to remain trapped in a failed school? Five years? Two years? One year? (18.2 kb)

"The danger in dumbing down"
By Lance T. Izumi ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, Friday, March, 19, 2004
The controversy over American jobs going overseas has so far largely overlooked the key factor of poor-quality American education. American companies, faced with a domestic labor pool deficient in even basic knowledge and skills, are financing the math and science education of students in foreign countries. (66 kb)

By Lance T. Izumi ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, Thursday, February, 19, 2004
Remember when Pinocchio was led astray by the fast-talking fox who promised him fun instead of the hard work of school? By the end of the story he turned into a donkey. (62 kb)

"Exit-exam delay no surprise As long as teachers union maintains clout, real school reform is unlikely. "
By Dr. Alan Bonsteel, Orange County Register, Wednesday, June 18, 2003.
On June 13, state schools chief Jack O'Connell made an unsurprising announcement: He would seek to postpone California's high school exit exam, due to become mandatory in 2004, by at least two years. (108 kb)

"Flawed test, bogus spin: Orange County Register California Focus"
By Alan Bonsteel, M.D, Oct. 25, 2002
On Oct. 18, the California Department of Education released the latest results of the Academic Performance Index goals. The claim was made that according to this API, our public schools were still improving, but at a slower rate than in previous years, a spin that was accepted by most of the state's newspapers. (59 kb)

"Falling STAR: Orange County Register Orange Grove"
By Alan Bonsteel and Peter Hanley.
Mr. Bonsteel is president of California Parents for Educational Choice in San Francisco ( This was co-author. Last week's STAR K-12 test results demonstrate that the system sucks in vast amounts of data, but releases virtually nothing of value. (122 kb)

Media Fact Sheet:
"Star Test Results in Perspective: Less than It Appears"
By Alan Bonsteel, MD and Peter Hanley August 22, 2002
After a two week delay because Los Angeles Unified, the state's largest district, did not turn its tests in on time, the California Department of Education will release the 2002 STAR test results on August 29. (130 kb)

"Bungled Reforms"
by Alan Bonsteel, M.D., Santa Barbara News-Press, August 19, 2001

On Aug 15, California Department of Education released the results of the STAR test of K-12 academic achievement. This year, the results mean just what they've meant since the test was first given: exactly nothing. (39.1 kb)

"STAR Scores May Be Meaningless, But They Can Only Go Up"
by Alan Bonsteel, M.D., San Francisco Chronicle, July 12, 2000

ON MONDAY, the California Department of Education will release the results of the third annual Stanford 9 /STAR series of tests of second- through 11th-grade public school students. These test results tell us virtually nothing about how our children are doing in school. (133 kb)

Media Report:
California's Stanford 9/STAR Testing System: Rampant Cheating Invalidates the Results
by Alan Bonsteel, M.D., July 6, 2000

Governor   Gray   Davis  has  declared   that  testing    is   his  "polar  star  of education"  and   has   announced  that   he  will  not  run  for  re-election  as governor in 2002 if  test scores do not  improve. (40 kb)

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