SRCS students continue to show growth in English language arts and math, according to results of statewide tests designed to gauge preparation for college and career. The state recently released results from the second year of the Smarter Balanced tests, part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) system. The tests align with California’s new state standards and feature more questions that require short answers or extended response questions that require demonstration of a deeper understanding of key concepts. They are computer-based and are administered each spring in grades 3-8 and 11.
While the CAASPP tests are important, they are only one tool designed to help educators better understand how our students are performing under new state standards, to measure student growth and to implement effective learning strategies tailored to individual children.
We're extremely proud of our teachers and staff for their dedication and commitment to our students, of our students for working hard to develop the skills they’ll need to achieve in the years ahead and of our families for partnering with us to help our students succeed.
To obtain Smarter Balanced results from prior years:
These test results are just one tool teachers, administrators and families can use to better understand how well your student is performing in school. The scores are simply one gauge on the dashboard that you and your child’s teacher can use to discuss how far your student has progressed in mastering state standards.
Other school tests, for example, quizzes, reports cards, classroom assignments and more provide equally important information. The tests are an academic checkup and are a snapshot in time, designed to give teachers the feedback they need to improve instruction and information to improve teaching and learning. Because the tests are taken online, information is available to teachers, schools and school districts on a timely basis so it can be used to help students learn. This is different than the STAR tests (which were used prior to these new tests), and is one reason schools are shifting to online testing.
Additionally, these results will not be used to determine if a student moves on to the next grade.
You’ll now be able to compare this year’s scores with last year’s results. Although you can see growth from year to year, however, scores can’t be directly compared to prior years, which measured different grade standards. Scores between 2,000 and 3,000 represent your child’s overall performance in English language arts and in mathematics. Like progress on a growth chart, the tests, scores and expectations change with your child’s age and grade.
On the score report, there’s a breakdown of four areas of English language arts, describing your child’s performance on reading, writing, listening and research/inquiry portions of the assessment.
Likewise, a breakdown is provided of the three areas of mathematics, detailing your child’s performance on concepts and procedures, problem solving/modeling/data analysis and communicating reasoning.
A great way to start is by asking questions! Talk to your teacher and school about how you can work together to support your child’s learning.
Here are some tips from the California State PTA:
The assessments are part of a larger plan for ensuring high-quality teaching and learning in every school. The plan also includes higher academic standards, more decision-making in the hands of schools and communities and more resources dedicated to schools and to students with the greatest needs.
The Academic Performance Index (API) for schools and districts has been suspended until the state adopts a new measurement and accountability system. The state is still working on a system that would be based on multiple measures, including academic progress, college and career readiness, school climate, and more. This new replacement system has not yet been finalized by the state.
Along with the resources listed on this webpage, we encourage you to check out the California Department of Education's comprehensive online resource for families to learn more about state testing, understand score reports and follow your student’s progress. Visit http://testscoreguide.org to check it out.
Smarter Balanced Testing Windows
Between March-May Grades 3-8 and 11 ELA & Math
(includes EAP) for 11th Grade
Spring dates TBA Grades 5, 8
Spring dares TBA Grade 10, San Rafael High
Spring dares TBA Grade 10, Terra Linda High
Spring dares TBA Grade 12, Madrone
Excerpt from the Sample Items and Performance Tasks page of the Smarter Balanced website:
The Smarter Balanced assessment system includes a variety of item types. The response formats included in the sample items will be updated based on findings from cognitive labs and small scale trials being conducted this fall, as well as additional information gathered during pilot testing in early 2013.
Selected-response items prompt students to select one or more responses for a set of options.
Technology-enhanced items take advantage of computer-based administration to assess a deeper understanding of content and skills than would otherwise be possible with traditional item types. Technology-enhanced items capitalize on technology to collect evidence through a non-traditional response type, such as editing text or drawing an object. Selected-response and technology-enhanced items can be scored automatically.
Constructed-response items prompt students to produce a text or numerical response in order to collect evidence about their knowledge or understanding of a given assessment target.
Performance tasks measure a student’s ability to integrate knowledge and skills across multiple standards—a key component of college and career readiness. Performance tasks will be used to better measure capacities such as depth of understanding, research skills, and complex analysis, which cannot be adequately assessed with selected- or constructed-response items. Some constructed-response items and performance tasks can be scored automatically; many will be hand-scored by professionally trained readers. These tasks will be delivered as part of the interim and summative components of the assessment system, with more extended tasks available in the digital library as part of the Smarter Balanced-developed exemplar instructional modules and inventory of currently available resources. The time and resource constraints for each performance task will be guided by its placement in the overall assessment system. Smarter Balanced has a comprehensive research agenda. During the spring 2013 pilot, the Consortium will research the effects of including a brief classroom interaction phase in the summative performance task on accessibility and standardization. The classroom interaction phase will then be appropriately constrained for performance tasks depending on the intended use and placement within the overall Smarter Balanced assessment system.
Training tests available in three grade spans includes most test features, functionality, and item types.