San Carlos School District uses a variety of assessment measures to evaluate the effectiveness of instruction as well as to analyze the progress of individual students. Some of the administered assessments are mandated by state or federal law, while others are programs that have been instituted by the District to maximize the effectiveness of our overall academic programs and individual student success.
In conjunction with the adoption of the Common Core Standards, the State of California has replaced the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Assessments with new Smarter Balanced Assessments which go beyond multiple-choice questions to include extended response and technology enhanced items, as well as performance tasks that allow students to demonstrate critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Some of the tests will be adaptive, and all will be taken on-line. The Smarter Balanced Assessments do not officially roll out until the 2014-2015 school year, but SCSD students will take the field test in Spring 2014, for which the scores will not be published. There will be no STAR testing in in English Language Arts or Mathematics for 2014 and the existing API scores will be replaced and not comparable to any future assessment results.
The District puts a greater emphasis on “formative” assessments, ones which give the educator information on any given student’s progress and informs strategies of teaching and learning. Measures vary by school and grade. Some of these formative assessments include:
- Curriculum Based Assessments (e.g. staff created assessments, Everyday Mathematics Progress Checks and open response tasks, writing continuum analysis of writing samples, etc.)
- Mathematics Assessment Resource Service (MARS) Classroom Challenges/Tasks (K-8)
- Star Renaissance Reading and Math (Grades 5-8)
- Developmental Reading Assessment-Second Revision (DRA-2) – administered by K-4 teachers three times per year to all students to determine each child’s independent reading level. These levels are reported on the K-4 report card each trimester.
- Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) for early literacy and early reading skills