New state tests set baseline for student data

e-Connections Post

The California Department of Education today released 2015 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test results for districts and schools.

Once SCUSD receives individual student reports from the state, they will be mailed home to parents.

All public school students in grades 3-8 and 11 participated in the online CAASPP tests in English and Math last spring. The tests are very different from the old paper-and-pencil exams of the past.

These interactive tests require students to analyze information, use technology, solve challenging problems, write explanations and defend their answers. The tests were designed to help schools identify learning gaps and better support students.

Because the new tests are so different from the previous Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program, CAASPP results should not be compared to STAR results. Instead, this year’s results will set a new starting point for student achievement against which performance can be compared for years to come.

The tests are aligned with the rigorous new Common Core State Standards that set a high bar for what every student should know and be able to do at every grade level.

“Our staff, teachers and principals are working hard to learn new curriculum and new methods of instruction that help children master the standards,” said Superintendent José L. Banda.

“This is the new direction for California public schools and we believe it’s the right direction,” Superintendent Banda continued. “In the long run, students will be better prepared for college and for 21st century careers.”

SCUSD teachers, principals and staff will be examining the data in detail and using the information to better support student learning.

Supporting Your Child

  • Make sure your child understands that the test results establish a baseline: No one expects a student to master a test he/she is experiencing for the first time.
  • With older children, explain that the new tests were created to help him or her better prepare for college and career.
  • Explain to your child that the new tests are more challenging but schools will work hard to prepare them with the skills they’ll need.
  • Tell your child that you and his or her teacher have high expectations and that you are both there to help them every step of the way.