Last spring, students took part in the 2015-16 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), which includes the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics. These tests are based on California’s challenging academic standards, which include the ability to write clearly, think critically, and solve problems–the very skills needed to succeed in college and a 21st-century career. These skills take time and effort to master, but our students will need them to thrive in the long run.
In our school district, we see a student’s test results as one measure of his or her academic progress. They will not be used to determine whether a student moves to the next grade. Schools may use the results to identify specific areas in which to focus more attention in the next school year, while teachers may use the results to identify and address individual student needs. We recommend that parents and/or guardians discuss the test results with their child’s teacher.
Several resources are available to help you understand the CAASPP Student Score Report and interpret the results. They include:
- Sample student score reports, available in both English and Spanish
- “Understanding the CAASPP Student Score Report” video, available in English and Spanish
- Guide to Understanding the CAASPP Student Score Report, available in English, Spanish, and other languages
- Parent Guides to the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments, available in both English and Spanish
All of the above resources are posted on the California Department of Education’s CAASPP Student Score Report Information Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/caasppssrinfo.asp.
In addition, the new Test Score Guide Web page at http://testscoreguide.org/ca contains information to help parents/guardians and students understand the overall Smarter Balanced score and the corresponding achievement level, as well as the student’s strengths and weaknesses.
To meet federal test requirements, California administered the California Standards Test (CST) and the California Modified Assessment (CMA) for Science to all students in grades five, eight, and ten. If your child was administered a science test, the results appear on the back of the student score report. It is important to note that these Science tests are based on the (old) science standards from 1998. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are our current focus, but there is currently no test to assess these new standards. As a result, scores for CST Science may reflect the lessened focus on the old standards as we prepare students for the depth and rigor of NGSS. It is also important to note that the CST Science tests will not be used for any class placements and are not counted in any school or district accountability measures. A new science test, aligned with California’s Next Generation Science Standards, will be piloted next year.
These results are also being provided to your child’s school. They will be used to help set learning goals for students this year. We invite you to take an active part in those discussions. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s progress, please call your school office to arrange a conference with your child’s teacher.
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