A judge on Dec. 19 blocked a plan to make California the first state in the nation to require algebra testing for all eighth-graders, reports the Associated Press. The ruling sidelines an ambitious mandate approved by the state Board of Education in July after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recommended it over the concerns of California's school superintendent and education groups. The board pushed through the effort for the state to meet federal testing requirements or face losing up to $4.1 million in funding. The mandate would have affected students in the 2011-12 school year. But the California School Boards Association and

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