Technology Enabled Assessments


Spring 2015 Smarter Balanced Assessment

For parents with students in grades four through eight the results of your child’s performance on last year’s California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) assessments were released in September. These are the tests our students in grades three through eight took this past spring, The 2015 CAASPP administration was a mix of online and paper-pencil assessments:

  • Smarter Balanced English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics assessments completed online and based on the Common Core State Standards, replacing the old STAR tests
  • CST (STAR) science test completed in paper-pencil format

The scores you received will tell you how your child is doing under the Common Core State Standards, the updated learning standards for Math and English Language Arts.

How are the new tests different from the old tests and what do the scores mean?

An example of a Student Score Report shows you what you can expect your child’s report to look like and the information it will entail . Students will receive an overall score for each subject, ranging from 2,000 to 3,000. This score shows if your child met, did not meet or exceeded expectations for his/her grade. The second page of the report includes a further breakdown of that score, providing individualized information on your child’s academic strengths and potential challenges. The new assessments are fundamentally different from the old (STAR) tests, so you shouldn’t try to compare these results with your child’s previous scores—they’re measuring different things.

These results are a starting place for a detailed record of your child’s academic progress, which will help you, and our school, give them the support they need to succeed. The California Department of Education has released a short video explaining the Score Reports. You can also read more about the Score Reports at the California Department of Education website. Parent Guides to the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments with sample questions are available.

What does it mean if my child did not meet grade-level expectations?

This year’s tests establish a baseline only.  Please know, these results will not be used to determine if your child moves on to the next grade. The new tests were an adjustment for students, and it was expected that the first year’s scores would leave room for significant improvement.
The new Score Reports provide more detailed information than the old STAR scores, because they pinpoint specific areas where students need more support, or where they could be accelerated in the future. You can work together with your child’s teachers or school administrators to identify subjects where your child could improve, and focus on making progress in the coming school year. Testing is important, but it’s only one way to gauge how students are doing. Your child’s scores will be taken into account as part of a broader look at their academic progress. A guide to help you understand and use your child’s Score Report is here.