CAASPP Testing Begins Soon

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 - Posted in All District News

Sometime in the window of May 3rd to June 3rd, Piedmont students from all schools will be participating in the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments, which are part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System.  CAASPP assessments include computer adaptive tests in English–language arts/literacy (ELA) and Mathematics for students in grades 3 – 8 and 11, and as well as legacy paper-based tests in Science for students in grades 5, 8 and 10.

Why are the Smarter Balanced tests important?

The computed-based tests were created with teacher input to…

  • Measure how well your child has mastered the skills and content in mathematics and English language arts at his or her grade level
  • Assess critical thinking, analytical writing, and problem solving skills, which are needed for success in college and a 21st century career.

The computer-based test has different kinds of questions, including traditional multiple-choice questions, as well as ones that require students to explain their answers, show their work, and compose essays.

What should I expect after my student takes the test?

Online tests are faster to score, giving teachers and parents more timely information about student performance. Preliminary reports will be available to the school before the end of the school year.  Paper reports for each student will be mailed to you within 20 business days of receipt by the district.  As you may remember from last year’s score report, each subject will be broken down into areas. The report shows how students are doing in each area and where they need help. Depending on the student’s needs, teachers can use this information to provide targeted help to students to address their needs.

But remember, the results from this test aren’t meant to tell the whole story. Your child’s scores are meant to be one of several ways for you and your child’s teacher to see how your student is progressing in school. Test scores, along with student report cards and teacher’s observations of your child’s performance in the classroom, are used together to form a more complete picture of your child’s achievement.   

Early Assessment Program

Early Assessment Program (EAP) results will be included on the score reports for students in grade 11.  The EAP incorporates the California State University’s placement standards into the CAASPP English and mathematics test. The Early Assessment Program results are used by California State Universities and over 80 state community colleges to provide an early indication of readiness for college-level coursework.  The report may help some families make decisions about senior year coursework to best prepare for college.

Where can I learn more?

We encourage you to take a look at a practice test for your child’s grade level. The practice tests are posted on the California Department of Education’s Smarter Balanced Practice Tests Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sa/practicetest.asp. The National PTA and Great Schools have created a website with information for families about the new tests.  Visit the “Be a Learning Hero” Web site at http://bealearninghero.org/classroom/smarter-balanced.

In Piedmont, our goal is for all students to achieve their full potential. The CAASPP tests are just one way that we are able to better understand if we are meeting that goal. If you have questions or concerns about the test, please reach out to your child’s principal. As parent or guardian, you have the option of excusing your child from any part of the CAASPP. If you would like to excuse your child from the test, please notify your child’s principal in writing as soon as possible so they can make alternative arrangements for him/her.  Thank you for all you do to partner with us in your child’s education.

Thank you-

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