State exams no longer subject to peer review

For nearly two decades, peer reviews had been part of the state assessment process under No Child Left Behind -- and its earlier predecessors. In December, however, the U.S. Department of Education stopped the reviews of state exams by expert panels, saying the change would allow states to focus more on new tests under the Common Core State Standards, rather than exams tied to the old standards. In the meantime, 15 states now are using tests that have not received federal approval, including California and New Jersey.

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