Information on Testing to All District Parents

Parents/Guardians will be receiving the following letter through their children’s school, from Mala Ahuja, Director of Instruction, with information regarding the new state assessment system:

As you may already know, we, along with thousands of schools across California, are participating in a field test of a modern assessment system designed to help shape teaching and learning in the classroom. Known as the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress – or CAASPP – these computer-based tests replace the STAR program.

These tests are aligned to the Common Core State Standards for English and math, which California adopted in 2010 to describe what knowledge and skills students need to be well prepared for college and careers, no matter where they come from or where they live.

Part of the goal of the field test this year is to determine how well individual questions allow students to demonstrate what they know and still need to learn. We are also taking this opportunity to see how well our technical capabilities meet the demands of computer-based assessments and to see what resources our teachers and school may yet need.

Finally and importantly, this year also gives your student an opportunity to try out the new system without consequences. All of this combined means that we will not be capturing scores this year. Instead, we will use what we learn from this field test to help ensure a successful full launch of the system in the 2014-15 school year.

Our next step in that transition is to administer the field test to students in Grades 3-8 from April 7-May 16. If you want to see what types of questions students will be asked or how the test will be presented, there is a practice test available online at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sa/practicetest.asp.

If you would like more information, please visit the California Department of Education Smarter Balanced Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sa/smarterfieldtest.asp.

Contributor: Mala Ahuja, Director of Instruction, Sunnyvale School District

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